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P12 P62 P11

VOL. 7, NO. 2096 TUESDAY, APRIL 17, 2012



69 oil marketers to refund N241.247b petrol subsidy Stakeholders seek probe from 1999


From Yusuf Alli, Abuja

HE House of Representatives Ad hoc Committee on Fuel Subsidy has asked 69 oil marketers to refund N241.247billion. Besides the illegal cash they got last year, 46 companies did not pay taxes, according to the Federal Inland Revenue Service. The committee established that N1.692trillion was paid as subsidy last year. But stakeholders in the industry, including some oil majors, are insisting that the probe ought to be from 1999 to date. Besides, the presentation of the report today by the committee has assumed ethnic dimension with a group, the South-


Name of marketers

volume deductible

subsidy refundable

•ACORN Plc •ALMINNUR Resources Ltd •AMG Petro-Energy Ltd •ANOSYKE Group of Co. Ltd •ASCON Oil & Gas Company •AVANT Garde Energy •A-Z Petroleum •CAH Resources Association Ltd •CONOIL Plc •CRUST Energy Ltd •Downstream Energy Source Ltd •DOZZY Oil & Gas Ltd •DUPORT Marine Ltd •ECO-REGEN Ltd •Eurafic Oil and Coastal Services Ltd •First Deep Water Discovery Ltd •Fradro International Ltd •Fresh Synergy Limited •Heyden Petroleum •Ibafon Oil Limited

140,894,149.00 46,918,888.00 119,233,618.00 15,769,795.00 64,745,352.00 19,470,988.00 130,721,532.00 323,005.00 46,664,121.00 13,301,936.00 39, 341,145.00 19,081,051.00 47,374,819.00 38,060,916.00 42,442,180.00 12,244,946.00 45,808,707.00 19,350,390.00 40,441,260.00 20,134,910.00

8,514,900,513.00 2,543,800,931.00 7,226,773,136.00 1,318,443,535.00 4,451,932,090.00 1,154,824,298.00 8,065,557,648.00 24,205,727.00 3,027,526,589.00 1,192,651,581.00 2,947,780,261.00 1,587,298,801.00 3,555,127,358.00 3,339,101,218.00 3,868,147,024.00 3932,207,739.00 3,661643,268.00 1,417,029.059.00 3,345,455,733.00 1,474,479,459.00

N26b Police pension cash in five banks From Onyedi Ojiabor, and Sanni Onogu, Abuja


F the N32billion Police Pension Fund cash, N26 billion has been traced to five banks. The Senate Committee probing the funds’ management also heard yesterday that the Chairman, Pension Reform Task Team, Mr. Abdulrasheed Maina, spends over N9 million monthly on security. As the Senator Aloysius Etok-led investigative panel on Management of Pension Funds resumed Continued on page 6

Continued on page 6

Panel: scrap EFCC, ICPC, FRSC, others


From Vincent Ikuomola, Abuja

OME federal agencies are to die – should the government embrace the recommendations of a committee it set up to examine its parastatals. The Steve Oronsaye Committee on Rationalisation of Federal Government Parastatals and Agencies, which was set up in August, last year, after working for eight months, submitted its report to President Goodluck Jonathan yesterday. No fewer than 102 heads of agencies and parastatals (MDAs) will lose their plum The fact positions, should that an insti- President Jonathan implement the rectution is ommendations. inefficient There are 541 govparastatals, and ineffec- ernment commissions and tive should agencies (statutory and non-statutory). not be a The committee’s basis for the 800-page report revealed that 12 years creation of after the government

new ones.

Continued on page 6

•IN THE DOCK: Former Ogun State Governor Gbenga Daniel at the Ogun High Court IV in Abeokuta during his trial for alleged stealing, bribery and fraudulent conversion of public funds to his personal use ... yesterday. Story on page 57









Ibori gets his prize today

Since he left the Government House, Asaba on May 29, 2007 as a two-term governor of Delta State, James Onanefe Ibori has been facing corruption-related litigations. Though he was discharged and acquitted of all corruption charges by a Federal High Court sitting in Asaba, it has been a different ball game at a London Southwark Crown Court, where he pleaded guilty to money laundering charges. The court will today sentence Ibori, writes OLUKOREDE YISHAU


LL eyes are on the London's Southwark Crown Court, where former Delta State Governor James Onanefe Ibori will get his prize for a life of fraud. He will be sentenced. In February, he admitted stealing tens of millions of pounds from the oil-rich Delta State so much that he became known as the ‘oil sheik’. Less than two decades after he worked as an employee at the DIY store and few years after quitting his £5,000-a-year job as a cashier for Wickes, Ibori had become one of Nigeria’s most influential and richest politicians. Before his emergence as governor, he was an ally of the military regime of the late Gen. Sani Abacha. Not much was known of his life before his romance with the Abacha regime through Maj. Hamza alMustapha, Abacha’s Chief Secretary Officer (CSO). But not anymore. His story, from his days as s store keeper in the United Kingdom, to the time he returned home and his tenure as governor are now open books, being read by all. It is now an open secret that he used a false date of birth to conceal previous convictions in the United Kingdom when he ran for governorship. Antony Goldman, a journalist who worked in Nigeria, said Ibori offered services to Abacha. Goldman said: “He had an unspecified role in security. That could be anything, it was a very murky business.” He said in the mid-1990s, Ibori was questioned by the Federal Bureau of Investigations (FBI) in the United

•Home in Abuja

Timeline of the Ibori saga •1958: Born in Delta State, UK police believe, saying he previously lied about his age •1980s: Moved to UK •1991: Convicted of stealing from DIY shop Wickes •1992: Convicted of credit card fraud •1993-4: Allies himself to Nigeria’s then military ruler Sani Abacha •1999: Elected Delta State governor •2007: Stepped down as governor •2007: UK assets worth $35m frozen •December 2007: Arrested in Nigeria on corruption charges •2009: Nigeria court dismisses charges •April 2010: Ibori’s supporters attack police as they try to arrest him •May 2010: Arrested in Dubai •2011: Extradited to UK •February 2012: Pleads guilty to money-laundering in London court States (US) about how he came into the possession of millions of dollars that he transferred to accounts in the US. The FBI, he said, suspected the money came from advance fee fraud and was able to prove the money came from his work with Abacha. Ibori, whose address in England was given as Primrose Hill in North London, worked as a cashier in a branch of a DIY store in Ruislip, Middlesex and was found guilty of stealing goods from the Wickes store. He was caught by his employer allowing his wife, Theresa, walk through the till he was manning without paying for goods. They both pleaded guilty at Isleworth

Crown Court and were fined. In 1992, he was convicted for possession of a stolen credit card, which had £1,000 spent on it, and was again fined. He knew his past could catch up with him. So, in 1999, when Ibori took out a mortgage on a property in Abbey Road, London, he got a new passport with a false birth date to mask his previous convictions. The birth date he chose was only a month after his sister’s birthday, which the prosecution told the court was medically impossible. He paid off the house immediately he became governor. The decision of the court today will help the British government

• Ibori decide what to do with Ibori’s multibillion naira assets in the UK. Will they be confiscated or returned to Nigeria? Today’s judjment will determine. His eralier guilty plea to charges of conspiracy to defraud lessened the burden of the court. Ibori, 49, admitted stealing money from Delta State and laundering it in London through a number of offshore companies. Ibori admitted to fraud totalling more than $79 million, said to be part of total embezzlement that could exceed $250 milion. Investigation revealed he bought six properties in London, including a six-bedroom house with indoor

No regret over Ibori being sentenced, says Clark


OUTHSOUTH leader Chief Edwin Kiagbodo Clark will be sad today if former governors James Ibori is sentenced. He, however, said he will not regret the development as it will server as deterrent to those with corruption tendencies in Delta. According to him, corruption is the greatest canker worm that have eating deep into the nation. Clark, who spoke yesterday in his country Kiagbodo home, in Burutu Local Government Area of Delta State, told reporters that lbori’s criminal attitude has brought bad image to the state. He said there was no way Nigeria can grow or develop because corruption has taken over in the judiciary and every sector of government, noting that corruption has become an industry which some concerned Nigerians have been trying to eradicate. According to the elder statesman, Ibori would not have walked his way into trouble if he had not tried to become a power broker after leaving the office. Clark said: “It was when lbori started to parade himself as a celebrity on the corridor of power during the administration of former president, the late Alhaji Umaru Yar’Adua’s and part of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) that we said no, this should not happen. And he even wanted to be the president, the whole issue amounted to his own attitude and he never stopped stealing even after he left office. “lbori was still stealing from Delta state because after he left office his brother was still there. So, whatever he

From Polycarp Orosevwotu, Warri could not complete then, he was completing under his brother and there are many cases of such only that we do not want to embarrass the present government.” On whether if the monies that were stolen by the lbori’s administration will be safe if they are return to the state government, Clark said that the funds stolen by the exgovernor and the property should be return to the state since they are still around. “Since we are around nobody will tamper with the funds as we will see to it that they used for the development of state. So, we are not afraid and not worried, let the funds be brought to us. “Those of us who fault for the conviction of lbori are still around and we don’t believe the present government will do anything to give the impression that he doesn’t want Delta to benefit from the money that belongs to it. “We will monitor it because the money is coming through the Federal Government and at that stage we will ask the Federal Government to announce what came so that it will not be treated like General Abacha’s looted money.” Clark lamented that Delta state has received more than since lbori and the present governor came into power, but yet there are no meaningful development or completed projects and even the Asaba Airport which is so vital to this state has not been completed, not even the Asaba/Ughelli dual carriage road that has been abandoned.


pool in Hampstead for £2.2 million and a flat opposite the nearby Abbey Road recording studios. He also bought a property in Dorset, a £3.2 million mansion in South Africa and further real estate in Nigeria. Prosecution said he owned a fleet of armoured Range Rovers costing £600,000 and a £120,000 Bentley. On one of his several trips to London, he was said to have bought a Mercedes Maybach for over £300,000 at a dealer on Park Lane and shipped it to South Africa. He also bought a private jet for £12million, spent £126,000 a month

Journalists, supporters barred from court room

CORES of supporters of former Delta State governor James Ibori and some Nigerian journalists were on Monday barred from the London’s Southwark Crown Court room where he was to be sentenced after pleading guilty to money laundering. The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) correspondent who was at the court said trouble started when many of Ibori’s supporters, who besieged the court premises to witness the proceedings tried to force themselves into the court room. Many of them also claimed to be journalists representing various Nigerian media. Following the unruly situa-

tion officers from the Metropolitan Police, who were deployed to control the crowd, allowed only journalists representing the British media and some members of Ibori’s family into the court room. Sources close to Ibori’s legal team told NAN the court would not give its ruling yesterday, as both the prosecutors and the defence team were expected to make their closing addresses. Some supporters of the embattled former governor told NAN they wanted Ibori to serve his prison term in Nigeria. “Yes! We want him to be transferred to Nigeria because he did not commit the crime in the UK,” they said.




•Home in Kenton, London

•Home in Lagos

The women in Ibori’s life

One is his wife. Her name is Theresa. Another is his sister, Christine. the third, Udoamaka, is described as his mistress. As far as former Delta State Governor James Ibori is concerned, they all have one thing in common: they have been found guilty and jailed for helping Ibori launder money. • Theresa

• Christine

on his credit cards and ran up a £15,000 bill for a two-day stay at the Lanesborough hotel in London. Prosecutor Sasha Wass told the court Ibori had accepted he was involved in “wide-scale theft, fraud and corruption when he was governor of Delta State”. Wass added: “Mr Ibori tricked his way into public office. He had tricked the Nigerian authorities and the Nigerian voters. He was thus never the legitimate governor of Delta State. He was never the legitimate governor and there was effectively a thief in government house. As the pretender of that public office, he was

• Udoamaka

able to plunder Delta State’s wealth and hand out patronage.” Detective Inspector Paul Whatmore of the Metropolitan Police said: “We are pleased with today’s guilty pleas which mark the culmination of a seven-year inquiry into James Ibori’s corrupt activities. We will now be actively seeking the confiscation of all of his stolen assets so they can be repatriated for the benefit of the people of Delta State. “It is always rewarding for anyone working on a proceeds of corruption case to know that the stolen funds they identify will eventually be returned to some of the poorest

and most vulnerable people in the world.” Prosecution said as governor, Ibori racked up credit card bills of $200,000 monthly and owned a fleet of armoured Range Rovers. He was trying to buy a plane for £20 million at the time he was arrested. The ex-governor’s wife, Theresa, sister, Christine Ibori-Idie, mistress, Udoamaka Okoronkwo, and London-based solicitor Bhadresh Gohil were earlier convicted of moneylaundering. His ‘travail’ was funded by the Britain’s Department for International Development (DfID) at a cost

of approximately £750,000 a year. The Metropolitan Police’s Proceeds of Corruption unit (POCU) began investigating Ibori in 2005, collaborating with the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission EFCC). He was arrested by the EFCC in December 2007, but two years later a court in Asaba, dismissed the charges, saying there was not enough evidence. The case was reopened in April 2010; Ibori fled to Dubai United Arab Emirate (UDE) where he was detained at the request of the Metropolitan Police and extradited to the UK last April. Britain’s International Develop-

ment Secretary Andrew Mitchell said: “We are committed to rooting out corruption wherever it is undermining development, and will help bring its perpetrators like Ibori to justice and return stolen funds to help the world’s poorest. Mitchell said: “Funding investigations such as these help to recover valuable stolen funds which can be returned to Nigeria to be used for development. Doing this is making a major contribution to Nigeria’s development, on a scale far in excess of the cost of the investigation itself. It is good value for Nigeria and for the British taxpayer.”

UK aid funded firms ‘linked’ to ex-Delta governor


RITAIN’S Department for International Development (DfID) is accused of allowing tens of millions of pounds in the United Kingdom (UK) aid to be invested in Nigerian money laundering fronts, BBC Newsnight has learned. An equity fund backed by DfIDowned subsidiary CDC Group is being investigated by Nigerian officials. The accusation is that the private fund were invested in companies linked to James Ibori. DfID says CDC carries out thorough checks before investing its funds. Ibori, a former governor of Delta States, who looted millions from state coffers, will know his fate today at UK court having pleaded guilty to 10 counts of money-laundering and conspiracy to defraud. As his trial at London’s Southwark Crown Court was about to begin in

DfID spent £5 million investigating the case, the world’s biggest money-laundering scam ever brought to justice, and Ibori’s network - which spanned four continents. Ibori had secret accounts and companies in London, Switzerland, Luxembourg, Mauritius, Polynesia, Panama, the Marshall Islands and South Africa

February 2012, Mr Ibori changed his plea to guilty and admitted stealing money from Delta State and laundering it in London through a number of offshore companies. DfID spent £5 million investigat-

ing the case, the world’s biggest money-laundering scam ever brought to justice, and Ibori’s network - which spanned four continents. Ibori had secret accounts and companies in London, Switzerland, Lux-

embourg, Mauritius, Polynesia, Panama, the Marshall Islands and South Africa. But it is the alleged front companies in Nigeria which have cast a shadow over British aid. CDC is overseen by the Development Secretary, Andrew Mitchell. In January, Mr Mitchell issued an unreserved apology to an Anglo-Nigerian whistleblower after Newsnight revealed DfID had betrayed his identity to the people he was accusing. Dotun Oloko had warned DfID about potential problems with CDC investments. The department passed a document containing Mr Oloko’s name to the private equity firm he had accused of investing in potential corruption. He then became the target of private investigators hired by the firm who followed his children to school and looked into his personal and business affairs in the UK and Nigeria. Mr Oloko told Newsnight he is de-

lighted the Nigerian anti-corruption squad is now examining the issue. He also pointed to the fact that Britain’s development agency now stands accused of investing in the very corruption it has spent years helping to investigate. “That’s the incredible paradox. The same people who’ve funded the prosecution are the people who’ve funded the activities which are now being investigated,” he said. DfID issued the following statement in response to Newsnight’s report: “These specific allegations date back to 2009 under the last Labour government and were investigated by CDC at the time and subsequently passed on to the Met Police and the Serious Fraud Office. “CDC always carries out full and thorough checks before investing in a fund manager and the subsequent investigation gives no indication that British funding has been misused in this case.”




N26b Police pension cash in five banks

Panel: scrap EFCC, ICPC, FRSC, others

Continued from page 1

Continued from page 1

had decided to either scrap, commercialise or privatise some of its parastatals and agencies, they are still receiving full government funding, which runs into billions of naira. Besides, the committee recommended the scrapping of the Federal Road Safety Commission (FRSC), Economic and Financial Crime Commission (EFCC) and the Independent Corrupt Practices and other Related Offences Commission (ICPC). The committee noted that their functions are overlapping with that of the Police. The committee also pushed for the reduction of Statutory agencies from 263 to 161. The committee recommended the abolition of 38 agencies, merger of 52 and reversion of 14 to departments in ministries. The committee also recommended the management audit of 89 agencies capturing biometric features of staff as well as the discontinuation of government funding of professional bodies/councils. In all, Oronsaye said if the committee’s report was adopted and agencies reduced in accordance with the recommendation, the government would be saving over N862 billion between this year and 2015. The breakdown showed that about N124.8 billion would be reduced from agen-

•President Jonathan receiving the report from Oronsaye at the Presidential Villa, Abuja ... yesterday. PHOTO AKIN OLADOKUN

cies proposed for abolition; about N100.6 billion from agencies proposed for mergers; about N6.6 billionn from professional bodies; N489.9 billion from universities; N50.9 billion from polytechnics; N32.3 billion from colleges of education and N616 million from boards of federal medical centres. The committee was mandated to: •study and review all previous reports on similar exercise; examine the enabling Acts of all MDAs and classify them into various sectors; •examine critically their mandates and make appropriate recommendations to either restructure, merge or scrap; and •advise on any other matters, which may be relevant to the desire of government

to prune the cost of governance. Receiving the report, President Jonathan promised to immediately set up a white paper committee so as to facilitate implementation of the recommendations made, saying that the white paper should be ready in two months. Oronsaye decried the average cost of governance, which he said ranks among the highest in the world. Oronsaye noted that there are 541 Government Parastatals, Commissions and Agencies (statutory and non-statutory). “The Committee believes that if the cost of governance must be brought down, then both the Legislature and Judiciary must make spirited efforts at reducing their running costs as well as restruc-

turing and rationalising the agencies under them since the three arms make up the government,” Oronsaye said. Citing the case of EFCC and ICPC, which the committee noted are performing the traditional functions of the Police, it observed “that even though the two Commissions were established separately to address corruption, which the Police appeared to have failed to do, successive administrations have ironically continued to appoint the Chairman of the EFCC from the Police Force while the methodology adopted by the ICPC in conducting investigations as well as the training of its personnel in investigation procedure are carried out by the Police. Continued on page 61

sitting, seven bank chief executives appeared before the committee to clarify the allegation that some banks were conduit pipes to launder pension cash. Director, Police Pension Office, Mr. Toyin Ishola, who disclosed the whereabouts of the controversial police pension funds, gave the breakdown of the amount traced to the five banks. He listed Fidelity Bank, United Bank for Africa (UBA), ECO Bank, Guaranty Trust Bank (GTB) and First Bank as the banks the funds were domiciled. Ishola said that Fidelity Bank, UBA and Ecobank each holds N8billion. GTB has N2billion and First Bank N10 billion. He said the Police Pension Office was working hard to locate N6 billion balance. Only the Executive Director of Ecobank, Mr. Segun Jafia, who represented his bank, disputed the N3billion said to have been deposited in his bank. Though Jafia agreed that Ecobank is one of the bankers of the police pensioners, he said the bank is only a paying bank. He admitted that N4 billion was paid into the police pension for payment of pensioners. Jafia noted that the money had gone into paying police pensioners, leaving a balance of N200 million. The Ecobank ED said the

bank is one of the bankers of the Head of Service pension office. Diamond Bank Acting Managing Director Mr. Oladele Akinyemi said it was not possible to give one account number to more than one person. He said his bank does not have any codified account or any account with the name “Chairman”. The committee mandated the bank to furnish it with details of the accounts of Police Pension, Head of Service, Custom, Immigration and Prisons Pension Office (CIPPO). GTB Managing Director Mr. Segun Agbaje told the committee that the police pension account was opened on April 6, 2011, with a deposit of N3billion and closed on June 30, 2011. He told the panelists that the Accountant General’s letter of authorisation to open the account was received on March 2, 2011. Agbaje said N3billion was deposit placement done in a person’s name and withdrawal usually done by the same person. He said the money came in form of Electronic Fund Transfer. The GTB boss said N2b was later transferred to Ecobank on instruction. Agbaje said the interest accrued to the account was N924,000. Continued on page 61

69 oil marketers to refund N241.247b petrol subsidy Continued from page 1

South Youth Caucus, accusing the North of plotting to undermine President Goodluck Jonathan’s administration. The Farouk Lawan-led committee discovered that disqualified subsidy claims by 69 companies amounted to N241.247 billion. Some of the companies are: Acorn Plc, Alminnur Resources Ltd, AMG PetroEnergy Ltd, Anosyke Group of companies Ltd, Ascon Oil & Gas Company, Avant Garde Energy, A-Z Petroleum, CAH Resources Association Ltd, Conoil Plc, Crust Energy Ltd, Downstream Energy Source Ltd, Dozzy Oil and Gas Ltd, Duport Marine Ltd, EcoRegen Ltd, Eurafic Oil and Coastal Services Ltd, and First Deep water Discovery Ltd. Others are: Frado International Ltd, Fresh Synergy Ltd, Heyden Petroleum, Ibafon Oil Ltd, Imad Oil & Gas Ltd, Integrated Resources Ltd, Ipman Investment Ltd, Knightsbridge, Linetrale Oil supply and Trading Company, Lingo Oil & Gas Company Ltd, Lloyds Energy Ltd, Lottoj Oil & Gas Ltd, Maizube Petroleum Ltd, Matrix Energy Oil & Gas Ltd, Menol Oil & Gas Ltd. The report of the committee reads in part: “Discharges that suffered one or more of the above infractions were adjudged not sustainable and, therefore, not good enough to attract any

subsidy. The disqualified claims to subsidy amount to N241.247billion. “The associated PMS volumes of 3,453,690,070 litres are, therefore, deductible from the annual mass volume, with a view to determining the appropriate volume of consumption. “These defective transactions should be further investigated by the EFCC to ensure that all those who collected unmerited subsidy are made to refund the amounts collected.” The committee asked the Office of the AccountantGeneral of the Federation to account for over N213.678billion being excess subsidy payments in 2009 and 2010. The report added: “The Office of the AccountantGeneral of the Federation (OAGF) should account for N213.678billion being total of excess payments made by it over and above what the PPPRA identified as paid in 2009 and 2010. The OAGF is not only responsible for the accounts of the Federation, including the Petroleum Subsidy Funds (PSF) and Domestic Crude Account, but refused to provide further details on the account when requested to do so during the public hearing. “EFCC and ICPC should ensure that the OAGF accounts for the overrecovery figures of NGN 2.766billion and NGN5.27billion.” The panel faulted alleged conflicting figures from the

Nigeria National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC). It said: “NNPC had two sources of recovery of its subsidy viz: (i) Direct deductions from Domestic Crude receipts accruable to the Federation. (ii) Payment by CBN through deduction from distributable revenues as per the Federation Account Component Statement. “NNPC, in its submission, claimed to have earned N586 billion as subsidy from the supply of 7,576,726, 157 litres of PMS in 2011. “However by PPPRA’s presentation, NNPC was paid a subsidy of N667.533billion for supplying 5,470,007,111 litres of PMS. “By CBN’s presentation, NNPC was paid N844.944billion as subsidy in 2011. In addition to CBN’s payment of N844.944billion as represented on the Federation Account Component Statement, NNPC made a direct deduction of N847.942billion as subsidy in 2011, bringing all claims to N1.692 trillion.” On the jump in subsidy to N1.6trillion in 2011, the Lawan committee said the PPPRA’s argument that it was due to computed arrears was untenable and illegal. It said: “PPPRA, in its presentation to the House of Representatives, had hinted that the noticeable upsurge in subsidy payment in 2011 was due not only to increase in subsidy per litre but also due Continued on page 61

DISALLOWED CLAIMS TO DISCHARGES AND SUBSIDY 2010-2011 •Imad Oil and Gas Limited •Intergrated Oil and Gas •Integrated Resources Limited •IPMAN Investment Limited •Knight Bridge •Linetrale Oil Supply and Trading Co. •Lingo Oil and Gas Company Limited •Lloyds Energy Limited •Lottoj Oil and Gas Limited •Maizube Petroleum Limited •Matrix Energy Oil and Gas Limited •Menol Oil and Gas Limited •Mob Intergrated Services •Mobil Oil Nigeria Plc •Mut-Hass •Nadabo Energy Ltd •Nasaman Oil Services Ltd •Natical Petroleum Ltd •Nepal Oil & Gas Service Ltd •NIPCO Plc •Oakfield Synergy Network Ltd •Ocean Energy •OilBath Nigeria Ltd •Ontario Nigeria Ltd •Origin Oil & Gas Ltd •Petroleum Energy Ltd •Phoenix Company Limited •Prudent Energy & Services Ltd •Rainoil Ltd •Rocky Energy Ltd •Ryden Oil Ltd •Sea Petroleum & Gas Co Ltd •Sedec Energy Ltd •Setana Energy Ltd •Shield Petroleum Co. Nigeria Ltd •Sifax Oil and Gas Company Ltd •Somerset Energy Services Ltd •Stonebridge Oil Ltd •Sulphur Streams Ltd •Swif Oil Ltd •Taurus Oil & Gas Ltd •Techno Oil Ltd •Tonique Oil Services Ltd •Top Oil and Gas Development Co. Ltd •Total Nigeria Limited •Valcore Energy Ltd •Vivendi Energy Ltd •Yanaty PetroChemicals Nigeria Ltd TOTAL

40,621,597.00 190,846,561.00 13,395,101.00 113,252677.00 62,705,372.00 18,015,790.00 13,939,286.00 62,144,967,00 19,019,719.00 63,474,066.00 150,999,206.00 65,226,359.00 71,716,695.00 47,223,884.00 12,895,905.00 40,608,289.00 49,691,912.00 66,768,117.00 30,975,102.00 126,161,617.00 13,798,245.00 18,999,680.00 13,414,605.00 61,927,588.00 39,366,193.00 12,088.200.00 24,201,544.00 18,318,267.00 13,989,768.00 19,837,274.00 6,033,043.00 59,841,476.00 19,915,805.00 44,833,464.00 26,409,962.00 42,928,602.00 39,649,669.00 20,187,353.00 55,281,456.00 66,649,190.00 84,028,035.00 6,137,738.00 65,055,054.00 98,806,004.00 38,269,427.00 113,176,522.00 13,279,490.00 75,482,740.00 3,345,378,259.00

2,701,002,852.00 13,252,055,429.00 1,166,486,995.00 7,538,589.178.00 1,685,869,439.00 1,213,903,930.00 1,201,297,922.00 4,370,512,172.00 1,427,429,910.00 5,509,407.903.00 11,211,040,786.00 4,333,348,489.00 5,066,786,851.00 2,660,968,597.00 1,102,084,041.00 2,660,902,801.00 3,441,253,193.00 5,276,169,320.00 2,353,911,978.00 7,838,353,057.00 988,920,219.00 1,778,180,051.00 1,019,644,138.00 4,248,727,148.00 4,141,367,099.00 908,805,371.00 1,827,838,204.00 1,360,898,638.00 1,266773,492.00 1,620,110,167.00 451,150,983.00 1,019,571,609.00 845,226,771.00 2,791,264,070.00 1,502,198,610.00 3,589,063,041.00 2,172,206,037.00 1,784,158,258.00 4,758,693,054.00 5,062,403,555.00 6,472,821,001.00 547,179,342.00 3,827,112,622.00 7,367,662,306.00 1,931,075,306.00 8,709,548,082.00 1,127,773,642.00 4,682,342,270.00 229,706,023,200.00

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Planned justice reform: Lagos lists places for community service By Yinka Aderibigbe



HE Lagos State Government has released a list of places where convicts will do community service under its planned Criminal Justice system reform. They are hospitals, schools, local government secretariats, stadia, remand homes, and orphanages, among others. Commissioner for Justice and Attorney General Ade Ipaye told reporters in Lagos that the centres were chosen to facilitate the planned justice reform. Under the reform, the government,


he said, planned to end punitive jail sentences. He said the government may introduce non-custodian sentencing to replace the punitive capital punishment which has been in existence for over 98 years. According to Ipaye, the government will train all stakeholders in the proposed reform to ensure its successful implementation. These, he said, were Judges, social workers at the Ministry, as well as their counterparts in the Ministries of Women Affairs and Poverty Alleviation (WAPA), and Youths, Sports and Social Development (YSSD). Ipaye said: "Rather than committing criminals to jail, judges would have the option to sentence them to social work where such

persons would be made to spend some hours per day either to weed bushy surroundings, or to serve in the kitchen, or perform in other capacities relating to their competence.” On the huge number of awaiting trial inmates in the prisons, Ipaye said: "It is disturbing that there are more inmates awaiting trials than actual convicts. Government feels it is our responsibility to take care of those who have not been charged or convicted, largely because a large number of them cannot afford the cost of a counsel. It is sad that some of these people have been here since 2008, and it is clear that they have been denied justice because they cannot afford counsel or have not perfected their bail conditions." Earlier, the Controller of Prisons, Lagos State Command, Mr Abayomi Oguntuase, urged the government

'Spiritualists', others held for alleged stealing, fraud

WO "spiritualists" - Ademola Omilayo (47) and Isaac Salau (35), have been arraigned at the Yaba, Chief Magistrate’s Court, Lagos, for allegedly stealing from

By Joseph Jibueze

their victims after promising to perform miracles for them. The police said Omilayo obtained N2.5million from Anthony

Osammor sometime in January, this year at 11 Imole Avenue, Meiran, in Abale Egba area of the metrpolis after promising to "pray" for returns on the money. He was

• A Tipper lorry and a Mercedez Benz car involved in an accident at Dopemu on Lagos-Abeokuta Expressway PHOTO: DAYO ADEWUNMI


to increase its visits to the prisons in order to accelerate their decongestion. Oguntuase, who hailed the reforms proposed by the government said by the time it takes off, the number of inmates would be reduced. OPD Director, Mrs Rotimi said the prison visitation was aimed at providing free legal service to inmates who cannot afford legal fees. She said the agency have been offering free legal services to the poor and the disadvantaged in line with its mandate to give equal access to justice for all. She said with the visit, the OPD intends to assign counsels to as many inmates suffering as a result of their inability to perfect their bails, or access justice, adding that this is in line with the government's determination to decongest the prisons in the state.

charged with obtaining money by false pretence and stealing. Prosecutors said Omilayo made "false representation that you are in a position to pray and return money to him (Osammor), a representation you knew to be false." He pleaded not guilty. The police said Salau, between February 11 and 16 at 17 Onilewura Street, Ikotun, "with intent to defraud" obtained N600,000 by false pretence from Franca Iboi. The prosecutor said: "You claimed that you are in a position to offer her prayers to clean her car wash." The alleged offence contravene Sections 409, 312 and 285, of the Criminal Laws of Lagos State, 2011. Salau pleaded not guilty. Also a 35-year old woman, Titilayo Jimeto, was charged at the same court with alleged fraud. The police said she obtained N5.3million from Balogun Rafiu "with intent to defraud.” Another woman, Regina Oluchi Mba, was held for allegedly obtaining N2.7million from Charity Emenogu "by false pretence."

Family, company disagree over death of worker

HE management of Alibert Furniture Ltd., Lagos, and the family of the 20-year-old worker who died in the company last week are still at daggersdrawn over the nature of his death. While the company expressed regrets for the death, which it claimed was the first incident in its 38 years of operation, the family said it is yet to enter any compromise with the company, alleging that similar incidents occurred in the company in the past. Michael Aghanemu, died from injuries sustained while operating a fibre machine. But the Personal Assistant to the Managing Director, Mrs Mercy Ugwu, yesterday told our correspondent that all their staff were insured. Mrs Ugwu, who regretted the incident, said the insurance company would pay the family. She said: "At a meeting held with the family representatives on Saturday, their fears about compensation were allayed by the company since the lives of all our workers are insured. "Also, the Workmen Compensation Policy is in place. Parties have also commenced the journey of amicable settlements. "The company further assures the family of its full support and regrets the fatal loss."

By Jude Isiguzo

Narrating how the deceased died, Mrs Ugwu said Aghanemu had attempted to clean the machine, but forgot to turn it off before doing so and consequently; his hand was caught in it. Mrs Ugwu said and other members of staff rushed the deceased to the hospital before he died. "Aghanemu had been familiar with the operations of the same machine for over one year before this tragic incident. He had commenced work as usual at the machine. However, around 11:30am, while preparing to go for break, he decided to clean the machine with an air hose; unfortunately he commenced cleaning without first turning off the machine. Subsequently, the hose was hooked to the machine which also dragged his right hand in. He was rushed to the hospital where he was certified dead." According to her, allegations that factory workers were exposed to job hazards and that many of them had died in the past, due to work-related accidents are false. Mrs Ugwu said this was the first time since the company was established 38 years ago that such an incident occurred. She also denied the allegation that the deceased’s family were not informed on time about the incident. She said efforts were made to

contact the family but there were delays, because the deceased had put one Gideon as his next of kin on his job application form. "The accident and death was reported to the police and the next of kin was called on phone but we were informed that he was in Delta State. "The deceased on his application form, filled one Gideon as his next of kin and upon further scrutiny, no member of his family had been indicated on his form. Repeated visits to his residential address were made but only his mother who was sick, was available," she said. Mrs Ugwu said the company’s representatives could not break news of his death to his mother, adding that they were able to get the contact of his cousin, Uloma, who connected them with the immediate family. On allegations by the family that they had not been allowed to see their son's remains, Mrs Ugwu said this was untrue. She said: "The news of the accident was broken to his father and uncles and all family members went to the Isolo General Hospital with representatives of the company order to see the corpse. "However, upon arrival at 7pm, a representative of the family demanded that the corpse be taken to another mortuary but all efforts to explain that this request could only be granted until the following day

as there was need to obtain necessary documents from the police fell on deaf ears as they left in anger." Father of the deceased Mr Festus Aghanemu said though the family has opened discussion with the company, both parties are yet to reach any agreement. He warned that the company must not do anything to suggest that they want to sweep the matter under the carpet, adding that the family will not hestitate to make public any agreement reached with the company.

• Obesere with the crashed SUV


Adora Oleh on FOX TV Stories by Ahmed Bulour

UK born Nigerian TV presenter, Adora Oleh of "The Adora Oleh Show" and "MTN Project Fame West Africa" has made her début on America's TV FOX News as an entertainment correspondent. The television beauty was accompanied by the cast and crew of FOX and friends first as she shared "what's hot" and "what's not" in the world of entertainment. When asked about her experience, Adora said, "it was an amazing experience and a great opportunity for me, everyone was so friendly and made me feel at home." She added: "I got to meet a lot of inspirational people and this is definitely one of the highlights of my American trip. I really enjoyed it." Adora Oleh and Chiad TV Productions Ltd are currently in America working on some projects and preparing for The Adora Oleh Show.

Obesere still receiving treatment DAYS after surviving a road crash, Lagos musician Abass Akande, popularly known as Obesere is still at the hospital. The energetic performer is complaining of pains. The musician had the accident with his Lexus SUV LX470 on April 8 in Ijebu Ode, Ogun State. He was on his way to Lagos. According to reports, the Ibadan born musician was in Top 1 Hotel on Saturday night where he performed. On his way back to Lagos around 7: 30pm, the next day, his chauffeur driven SUV lost control and rammed into a tree. Obesere, his driver, and two others in the vehicle were injured. They are still at a Hospital in Jakande Estate, Isolo on the outskirts of Lagos.



NEWS Ooni, Alake for Alawe’s coronation EKITI State Governor Kayode Fayemi will present the Staff of Office to the new Alawe of IlaweEkiti, Oba Adebanji Ajibade Alabi (Afuntade 1) on Saturday at the Corpus Christi College, IlaweEkiti. The Ooni of Ife, Oba Okunade Sijuwade; and the Alake of Egba, Oba Adedotun Gbadebo; are expected at the ceremony. The event will end the week-long ceremony.

Fayemi’s mum dies at 83 THE mother of Ekiti State Governor Kayode Fayemi, Mrs. Dorcas Aina Fayemi, is dead. She died on Sunday at 83 years. She is survived by children, grand-children and great-grand children. Funeral arrangements will be announced later. Osun State Governor Rauf Aregbesola has commiserated with Fayemi on his loss. He described Madam Dorcas’ death as “a great loss to the state and the Southwest”. In a statement by his Media aide, Mr. Semiu Okanlawon, Aregbesola said the death of the Fayemi matriarch has left a wide gulf in Ekiti, as her motherly role in its sociopolitical affairs would be “greatly” missed by the Ekiti governor and the people of the state. He said: “I received the news of the death of our mother last night with shock. Mama, a devout Christian, no doubt led a befitting life. “On behalf of my family and the people of the State of Osun, I offer our condolences to the Fayemi family and the people of Ekiti State on this great loss. We pray that the Almighty God would grant her paradise.”

•The late Mrs. Fayemi

Political parties defend Aregbesola on security


HE Alliance of Collaborating Political Parties (ACPP) has condemned the allegations by the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) that Osun State Governor Rauf Aregbesola is sending some youths to Cuba for military training and is planning to Islamise the state. The group comprises the National Conscience Party (NCP), Labour Party (LP), Justice Party (JP), People’s Progressive Alliance (PPA), All Nigerian Peoples Party (ANPP), All Progressives Grand Alliance (APGA), National Unity Party (UNP) and African Democratic Congress (ADC). Speaking with reporters yesterday in Osogbo, the state

From Adesoji Adeniyi, Osogbo

capital, ACPP Coordinator Waheed Lawal said the Jama’atu Ta’awunil Muslimeen Society of Nigeria (TAWUN), said to be used by Aregbesola to dislodge conventional security operatives from the Government House, could not have been founded by the governor because it has been in existence since 18 years ago. ACPP said: “TAWUN was founded in 1994 at Iwo Local Government by Sheik Dawood IMRAN-MOLAASAN, like other religious organisations. How could Aregbesola

create an organisation that has been in existence since 18 years ago, when we were under the military dictatorship of the late Gen. Sani Abacha, with the aim to secede from Nigeria almost two decades after?” The group said Cuba and Nigeria have had a cordial bilateral and diplomatic relations since independence. It said unlike Afghanistan, Iraq, Iran and Pakistan, no terrorist group has been linked with Cuba. The parties said rather than accuse Aregbesola of trying to impose Islam on the state, he should be seen as moving

too close to Christians because of his recent activities, which include the free train ride provided for people during the last Christmas, New Year and Easter celebrations, as well as making the New Year celebration memorable with fire-works display. ACPP said notable Christian leaders, such as Pastor Enoch Adeboye of the Redeemed Christian Church of God (RCCG) and Prophet Samuel Abiara of the Christ Apostolic Church (CAC), among others, have visited Aregbesola and praised him for promoting religious harmony in the state.

On the accusation that the Osun Youth Empowerment Scheme (OYES) and O’Clean corps are being used as state police, the group said the World Bank, the Federal Government and 15 other states have hailed the scheme and urged other states to replicate it. On the state’s flag and emblem, it said: “States or regions having their own flag, anthem and coat of arms are symbols of federalism. All these were in existence in the pre-1966 regions of Nigeria. It was the incursion of the military and their unitary structure that balkanised the region and eradicated this practice. “In the United States (US), which is one of the best federating countries in the world, Texas and New York states have their own flags. Maryland has its own. Same exists in Canada and India. All these can easily be gotten on-line. “There is, therefore, nothing spectacular with Osun and the Southwest having flags to complement the Federal Government’s flag and anthem.”

Group joins Ondo ACN From Damisi Ojo, Akure


•Ogun State Governor Ibikunle Amosun inspecting one of the five newly purchased Armoured Personnel Carriers (APCs) at the Governor’s Office inAbeokuta...yesterday.

Restauranteur murdered in Ifaki-Ekiti


N Ifaki-Ekiti restauranteur, Mr. Niyi Adeoye, was killed last Saturday by gunmen. The 35-year-old indigene of Igogo-Ekiti was shot at close range in his restaurant. An eyewitness, simply identified as Kolawole, said four gunmen stormed the restaurant about 10pm and shot Adeoye with a locally made gun. Kolawole, who was also in the restaurant with three other persons, said: “I was discussing with some friends at the back of the restaurant when two of the gunmen came and ordered us to go inside. It was around 10pm

Slain tanker driver buried in Ibadan


•’State flags are symbols of federalism’

From Oseheye Okwuofu, Ibadan

TANKER driver at the Ibadan depot of the Nigeria National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC), simply identified as Hammed, who was shot dead by robbers on the Iseyin-Maya road last Friday, was buried on Sunday evening. Hammed (40) was killed about 1am while trying to escape from the gang. It was gathered that the driver was returning from Saki, where he had gone to deliver fuel to a filling station, when the incident occurred. Sources said Hammed was shot twice in the ribs and he died immediately, but his motor boy escaped unhurt. Hammed’s remains were interred at a private cemetery at Ogbagba in Apata. Hundreds of tanker drivers, who attended the burial, rained curses on the hoodlums, who are still at large.

From Sulaiman Salawudeen, Ado-Ekiti

and many people had left. They were four and we were five. They ordered us to lie face down and we did. “They took my handset immediately we got into the restaurant and did not ask us any question. Then we heard a gunshot. After a few seconds, we realised they had left and got up, but found Adeoye soaked in blood. “Apart from my handset,


they did not take anything from any other person or from the shop. I think they just came to kill him. We rushed him to Marvelous Private Clinic and were referred to the General Hospital in the town. “At the General Hospital, there was no doctor around and we were told to take him to the Federal Medical Centre (FMC) in Ido-Ekiti. He died on our way to FMC and was certified dead by doctors when we got there.”

On the bruises on his face, Kolawole said: “When the gunmen shot at Adeoye, the bullet grazed my face, because he was lying next to me.” The deceased’s uncle, Niyi Agbemuko, said they would have buried him yesterday, but they are waiting for the police to conclude their investigation. Adeoye’s body has been deposited at FMC’s morgue. He is survived by a wife, three children and an aged mother.

Police Inspector disappears after ‘stabbing’ wife to death

POLICE Inspector, Sunday Iluegben, attached to the Ikeja Division, Lagos, has absconded after allegedly stabbing his wife, Caroline, to death. Iluegben allegedly stabbed his wife in the head and neck on Friday. It was gathered that the couple were living apart, but Caroline usually visited her husband and their four children, and sometimes slept over. Sources said Caroline arrived at her husband’s home

By Jude Isiguzo

at Olosan Police Barracks, Mushin, Lagos, on Thursday night and slept on the same mattress with her husband in the sitting room, while the children slept in the bedroom. One of the couple’s daughters (names withheld) said: “Mum and dad have not been living together because of a quarrel, but mummy usually comes to see us and sleep over. On Thursday/Friday night, she slept with dad on the same mattress in the sitting

room, because dad usually sleeps there while we sleep in the bedroom. “Dad woke up at 5.30am and left for work at 7am. But when I went to the sitting room, my mum’s mouth was covered with a scarf soaked with blood and she had been stabbed in the head and neck. I cried out and we rushed her to the Lagos University teaching Hispital (LUTH), where she died at 2pm on Friday.” Since the incident happened, Iluegben where about has been unknown.

HE Owo Local Government chapter of a political group in Ondo State, the Sunshine State Rainbow Coalition (SSRC), yesterday joined the Action Congress of Nigeria (ACN). An ACN governorship aspirant and former Commissioner for Finance Mr. Segun Ojo is the leader of the group at the state level. Members of the group, led by their leader in the council area, Chief Fajana Adesina, were received into the ACN at a rally held in Owo. They said they joined the party to support Ojo and kick out the “decadent” administration of Dr. Olusegun Mimko. Speaking at the event, Ojo said all members of the group in the 18 local government areas would dump the Labour Party (LP) and Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) for ACN. He warned the state government to “stop purchasing awards with tax payers’ funds.” The former commissioner said: “The governor has wrecked an unimaginable havoc on the state’s economy. Since the creation of Ondo State, we have never been indebted, either to the Federal Government, bank or the stock market. “We need a deliberate effort towards sustainable development that will guarantee job creation and visible growth. The most pressing need is how to boost the state’s economy, so that our employable youths will be actively busy. “It is not a good thing that the army of youths here today is jobless. This is the time to utilise government fund optimally for the good of all. “So I advise the governor to stop all cosmetic political projects and face the business of governance. He has wasted our funds and, unless he borrows, there is no money left for other projects.”




Fed Govt to infuse ICT into education curriculum


HE Federal Government is to infuse Information and Communication Technology (ICT) into the educational curriculum of primary and secondary schools. Minister of State for Education Ezenwo Wike said this would empower the next generation for national development. He spoke at the inauguration of the National ICT Week yesterday in Abuja. The minister said ICT has become the basic driver for sustainable national development globally. He said: “The Federal Government recognises this fact and has given priority attention to ICT development in the country. In the last few years, the Federal Government has not only created the enabling environment for the private sector, but has also invested tremendously in expanding broadband penetration to facilitate cost-effective access to the internet and its services nationwide to support and advance socio-economic empowerment and development”.

•Ibe, Wike and Director of Human Resources, Federal Ministry of Education Mr. Sunday Enokela...yesterday

He noted the week-long training programme would afford pupils and students the opportunity to be trained in various aspects of ICT in preparation for the national ICT competition.

The Minister said: “I also believe that the programme would at the end, empower the youth to adapt to the rapidly changing global environment where effective ICT knowledge and skills have become

essential for enhancing personal development and life’s success.” Permanent Secretary, Ministry of Education Mr. Ben Ibe said ICT has re-defined education delivery and all aspects of human endeavour.

ACN to PDP: stop using religion to destabilise Southwest T HE Action Congress of Nigeria (ACN) has warned the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) against destabilising the Southwest. In a statement issued in Lagos yesterday by its National Publicity Secretary, Alhaji Lai Mohammed, the party picked holes in the allegations of secession levelled against Osun State Governor Rauf Aregbesola. ACN said: ‘’The Southwest as a region does not have a history of religious intolerance as, in most families, adherents of the various faith have co-existed peacefully through the ages. It is, therefore, curious that a party that prides itself as pan-Nigeria will seek to end the age-long religious tolerance in this region just for political expediency. ‘’The Boko Haram crisis has become the meal ticket for the PDP and its chop-I-chop members, what with the huge chunk (about a quarter of the 2012 budget) allocated to ‘combating’ it. It is also the party’s trump card for maintaining a stranglehold on the nation, hence its flame must be kept aglow at all costs - human or material. ‘’It is also common knowledge that President Goodluck Jonathan of the PDP has frittered away the goodwill that followed him into office, through a succession of poorly-thought-out policies. With

National Assembly must probe ‘secession plot’


HE Southwest zone of the Action Congress of Nigeria (ACN) has urged the National Assembly to probe a report which accused Osun State Governor Rauf Aregbesola of secession plot. The party, in a statement by its spokesman, Ayo Afolabi, said: “We wonder how this government is yet to realise that the Boko Haram challenge is the greatest threat ever to the unity of Nigeria. Otherwise, how on earth the Federal Government could be fishing for trouble in Osun State, which has known relative peace since November 2010 when the present administration came to power. “It is such a shame that the Goodluck Jonathan Administration has chosen to ignore the portion of its head which is aching, only to deploy treatment to the

By Tajudeen Adebanjo

his eyes firmly set on another mandate even when he has not justified the current one, he and his party believe that his surest ticket to another mandate is to keep the flame of Boko Haram burning, and continue misinforming the international community that the crisis is rooted in religion, rather than in years of irresponsible governance, the type of which the PDP has foisted on Nigeria since 1999. ‘’That is why the PDP Federal

areas needing no medication. If what this government chose to do was to divert attention from the real issue, it has missed the mark once again. “To make matters worse, the security agencies are being diverted from performing their professional duties and services to the nation and are being teleguided to engage in fiction writing in the name of security report. If not fiction, what could one call the report that the busy and focused Osun State Governor, Engineer Rauf Aregbesola, is “creating an army of Islamic jihadists as a prelude to seceding from the Federal Republic of Nigeria?” “The report, which was said to have originated from the Department of State Security (DSS), is false in its entirety.

Government has paid only a lip service to all efforts to find a lasting solution to the Boko Haram crisis. “It was the government’s insincerity (the mediators said so and the government did not deny) that led to the collapse of the most recent attempt to resolve the crisis. In the post-911 world, the best way to attract sympathy from the international community is to put the terrorism badge on any acts of brigandage or social disorder and then link it with religion.

‘’However, the game is up for the PDP, and the party will know this if it bothers to read between the lines the recent apt characterisation of the Boko Haram crisis by the Assistant Secretary, Bureau of African Affairs at the US State Department, Mr Johnnie Carson.’’ The party therefore warned: ‘’PDP should stop exploiting religion for whatever purpose. It should stop encouraging those who are bent on exploiting it to destabilise our country.

Afenifere Renewal Group declares support for Aregbesola


FENIFERE Renewal Group (ARG)has described the allegation of secession against Osun State Governor Rauf Aregbesola as untrue. The group, in a statement, yesterday said the allegation is reminiscent of a similar one against the late Chief Bola Ige thirty three years ago. The statement reads: “Some thirty three(33) years ago the late Chief Bola Ige, then the governor of old Oyo State established the Young Pioneers to inculcate discipline and presence of mind into the youths of those days. “But alas! The NPN government of that time quickly concocted stories, accusing Ige of training youth militia to overthrow the Nigerian federal government. Incidentally, when Generals Muhammadu Buhari and Tunde Idiagbon took over government, the duo introduced the calisthenics displays of the Bola Ige Young Pioneers as part

of WAI displays. However, Bola Ige’s strong stance on the issue of protecting the identity and heritage of the Yoruba within the Nigerian federation led to constant hounding and harassment until he was finally murdered some years later. “Afenifere Renewal Group (ARG) would like to take note of the current travails of Governor Rauf Aregbesola of Osun State, especially some invidious SSS reports being peddled against him and his administration. “We are glad that the governor has responded to the allegations in very clear terms, and we are satisfied with his explanations and the maturity with which he has so far handled the matter. “We wish to state without any iota of doubt, that we endorse every step that Governor Aregbesola has taken so far, to bring qualitative development to the State of Osun. His programmes are well

within the ambit of fulfilling the development aspirations of the Yoruba people, for which he and his colleagues have been given an overwhelming mandate to pursue. Any other consideration is a waste of time, and an attempt to once again, scuttle the march of the Yoruba into her glorious destiny. We deprecate in very strong terms the plan to set up Rauf Aregbesola, and warn that the Yoruba race will accept no more officially-inspired incarcerations and or murder of its citizens, as depicted by the treasonable trial (unlawful caging) of Chief Obafemi Awolowo, and the murder of Chief M.K.O Abiola and Chief Bola Ige. Our people are wiser, and are now more resolute to ward off any aggression coming under any guise. “We would like to use this opportunity to admonish our compatriots in the PDP, especially those who have recently been


given party positions, that this is the time for development. The Yoruba people are watching, and they would resist any attempt by any official to instigate or collaborate with any person or group to once again arrest our developmental strides.”

40 millions Nigerians risk cardiac arrest, says don MORE than 40 million Nigerians are at risk of sudden death, a University of Ilorin don, Prof. Ayodele Soladoye, said yesterday. He called on relevant authorities to show serious concern to the high rate of hypertension in the country. Soladoye, who is a professor of physiology, told the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) in Ilorin that three things were expedient for anyone who wanted to avoid heart attack or sudden death. The Prof said: “To win the survival game of life and prevent a situation in which our hearts would stop working suddenly (cardiac arrest), a healthy lifestyle, good nutrition and regular aerobic exercise is necessary.” He also emphasised the need for people above 40 years of age to check their blood pressure regularly. The don added that people should be careful of what they eat because one can “eat and die” or “chop and quench. “ The don warned Nigerians against putting too much salt and potash or ‘kanwun’ (a traditional food additive) in their food. According to Soladoye, clinical studies had revealed the large doses of potash resulted in adverse effects of body organs and tissues. He urged Nigerians, especially those above 40 years, to check their blood pressure regularly in order to avoid sudden death. In his Inaugural lecture entitled: “Physiology of the Human Heart and Blood Pressure: the Survival Game”, the Prof said blood pressure was the pressure exerted by circulating blood on the walls of the arteries in the systemic circulation. He stated also that factors which could affect the blood pressure of individuals could be either physical or physiological. Soladoye said: “Some of the physiological factors affecting blood pressure include age, high dietary salt consumption, race, gender, exercise, obesity, drugs, alcohol, anxiety, stress and pain. “The human heart has been carefully designed to work ceaselessly throughout life by producing adequate cardiac output at a moderate heart rate and blood pressure. “These functions are regulated by homeostatic mechanisms involving centres in the brain and other parts of the cardiovascular system so that the heart can cope with internal and external challenges with a successful survival game.”

NLC s reject N18, 000 minimum wage THE Nigeria Labour Congress (NLC) has said it will neither accept the reversal of the N18, 000 minimum wage nor cut in salaries under the pretext of dwindling state finances. Its position was contained in a statement made available in Abuja yesterday and signed by Mr Joe Ajaero, the Acting President of the union. The statement said that the organised Labour would not accept the impoverishment of its members by lack of vision and planning by some leaders. It reads: “Nigerians have been made to suffer for too long due to the profligacy of our rulers, and the Congress will not accept additional suffering being heaped on them. “The federal and state governments have the duty and responsibility to pay wages as and when due without any cut. “If these were to occur, Labour and its allies would have no choice but to resist.” It urged President Goodluck Jonathan to reduce the high cost of governance as promised and ensure more devolution of powers and resources to the states and the local governments.




Ekiti teachers to write promotion exams •NUT kicks


From Sulaiman Salawudeen, Ado-Ekiti

EACHERS in public schools in Ekiti State will now write compulsory examinations, tagged Teachers’ Development Needs Assessment (TDNA), for promotion. But the Nigeria Union of Teachers (NUT) has opposed the policy. Commissioner for Education, Science and Technology, Mrs Eniola Ajayi, addressed reporters in Ado-Ekiti, the state capital, on last week’s State Executive Council (Exco) meeting where the decision was taken. Dr. Ajayi said the policy would assist the government to develop and strengthen learning among pupils in public schools. She said TDNA would help in upgrading the standard of education and enhance capacity building among teachers in public schools. The commissioner said there would henceforth be constant assessment of teachers through examinations conducted at local government levels. The examinations, she said, would be based on what the teachers have done on a regular basis. She said those who excel would be rewarded. Mrs Ajayi listed the states that have been implementing similar policies. They include Kano, Jigawa, Oyo and Kwara. She said: “The Ekiti State Government would stop at nothing to ensure that the state regains its pride of place in education.” Rising from its State Wing Executive Council (SWEC) meeting, the teachers issued a communiqué vowing that “any attempt to forcefully impose the competence assessment or examination on teachers by the Ministry of Education would be strongly resisted and shall result in an immediate industrial action”. The communiqué by the state NUT Chairman, Oluwole Awolusi, and Principal Assistant Secretary-General, Chief Wale Oyeniyi, said: “The SWEC-in-session rejects in its entirety the introduction or imposition of any competency examination on teachers.” The teachers described the policy as not only humiliating but dehumanising. They vowed to defend and protect the dignity of their members and the profession. The communiqué reads: “The body has consequently directed all principals, head masters and teachers in Ekiti State not to submit themselves to any anti-professional and inhuman competency examination. “If the government intends to assess the training needs of teachers, questionnaires are veritable tool that could be administered to determine such training needs and is even embedded in the Annual Performance Evaluation Report (APPER) forms usually completed by the prospective teachers in the service. “We have resolved not to allow the test on our members as we cannot comprehend or decipher the motive or rationale behind the introduction of the said competency assessment for teachers. “Majority of us had been certified and had been professionally teaching for more than 20 years.” Findings have shown that the examinations have been slated for April 20.


Tinubu: Nigeria faces bleak future without true federalism

ORMER Lagos State governor Asiwaju Bola Tinubu has said true federalism must be established first if Nigeria must make progress. He said: “Until we establish genuine federalism, we will never achieve our best future. Unless we have real federalism and have it soon, our problems will mount while their solutions recede. The nation in which we live will become a slight and an inferior thing. The way in which we govern ourselves will remain our worst enemy and highest obstacle.” The former governor spoke in Lagos in a keynote address entitled: Federalism and the rule of law: The Twin Compass to Our Best Future, at the opening of the 2012 Law Week of the Nigerian Bar Association (NBA), Ikeja branch. Tinubu, who was represented by Osun State Governor Rauf Aregbesola, noted that the national government should no longer be a “powerful cyclops terrorising those

By Adebisi Onanuga

smaller than it”. He argued that “true federalism is about empowering states and local governments to work for the people they know and who know them. If we can develop this federalism, it will enrich our lives in practical, yet profound ways”. The Action Congress of Nigeria (ACN) National Leader decried the attempt by the Federal Government to severe relationship between states and local governments through direct funding of the third tier of government. He posited that “it is a political sleight-of-hand to weaken those state governments controlled by the opposition parties”. Tinubu added: “The plan is an attempt to pull the rug from under the opposition state governments by allowing the ruling party in Abuja to gain financial remote control of the local structures that underline state institutions. “This is a move towards

concentration of power in the Federal Government and greater concentration of power in one party.” The eminent politician said the attempt to sever fiscal link between states and local governments portend adverse political and developmental repercussions. He said: “The federal plot would make local governments beholden to Abuja for its survival. Coordination of economic development activities between states and local governments will be overriden by this federal insertions. Local governments will take direction to Abuja, meaning they would begin to act in cross purposes with their state governments.” Tinubu suggested a reduction in the power of the central government to avoid having a central government that is too powerful. He said this would countermand constitutional provisions “and disregard established principles of accounting with impunity”. The chairman of the Law

Week Planning Committee, Mr. Roland Otaru (SAN) said the type of federalism currently in practice in Nigeria kills productivity and promotes dependence on the centre. Otaru noted that the nation needs to move away from the military-imposed federalism, which promotes indolence and bad governance. The NBA Ikeja chairman, Mr. Adebamigbe Omole, said it would be fundamentally wrong for Nigeria to continue with the present political arrangement because of the glaring inadequacies in the system. “The various agitations by the different ethnic nationalities and groups are evident of the fact that there is a systemic failure of our structure,” he said. He added that true federalism must be established to put the country on a sound footing and have a nation of everyone’s dream where peace and economic prosperity would reign.

Ex-Ondo Speaker opposes Oct 20 poll date •Joins governorship race


From Leke Akeredolu, Akure

FORMER Ondo State House of Assembly Speaker Victor Olabitan yesterday kicked against the October 20 date fixed by the Independent Electoral Commission (INEC) for the governorship election in the state. The former Speaker, who is a chieftain of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) in the state, threatened to sue INEC over the date. He said: “INEC cannot conduct an election four months to the handing over.” Olabitan, who addressed reporters on his intention to contest the governorship poll on the platform of the PDP, said INEC was not acting according to the constitution. Citing the example of Edo State, the former Speaker said: “The electoral body had fixed July for the governorship poll of that state and the handing over will come up a month after, that is, August. That’s the right procedure, according to the Nigerian Constitution. “I don’t know why that of Ondo State is four months before handing over. Or, has INEC forgotten that the handing over of Ondo State will be February? I think INEC must look for another better date for the election.” The aspirant said his agenda would focus on how to industrialise the state, create employment and reduce poverty. He noted that all the states in the Southwest have been depending on the Federal Government for revenue allocation. The politician added that if elected, he would ensure that the state has an alternative to survive without the Federal Government. Olabitan said: “Except Lagos, all other states depend on the Federal Government. But if I am allowed to be the governor, Olokola will be revived. Olokola does not need the Federal Government money before it starts functioning. It only needs someone who can drive it, and this will improve our economy.” The ex-Speaker said the PDP governorship candidate, who will emerge for the state, would have the support of the Presidency, adding that President Goodluck Jonathan would not back Governor Olusegun Mimiko for a second term. Olabitan noted that the PDP leadership in the state has been meeting with President Jonathan on the need to support his party’s candidate. He said: “The Presidency is not helping PDP in Ondo State; they rely on what they are told by somebody. Governor Mimiko is trying to play politics. He played a fast one on us when our party was in serious crisis. He is now persuading the Presidency to support him for a second term.”

• Aregbesola (second right); Chairman of the occasion, Alhaji Bili Dawodu (second left); General Alabi Isama (rtd.) (left) and Chairman, Law Week Committee, Mr. Otaru (SAN), at the ceremony in Ikeja, Lagos...yesterday

Ex-Ondo commissioner alleges threat to life


FORMER Ondo State Commissioner for Transport, Otunba Omoniyi Omodara, yesterday raised the alarm over alleged threats to his life by unknown callers. The Action Congress of Nigeria (ACN) chieftain has petitioned the Police Commissioner on the matter. Copies of the petition, which he wrote through his lawyer, Prince Segunde Akanmode, were also sent to the Director, State Security Service (SSS) and the Com-

From Damisi Ojo, Akure

mandant, Nigerian Security and Civil Defence Corps (NSCDC) in Akure, the state capital. Akanmode said: “Our client has been inundated with threats from unknown callers, intimating him that arrangement has been concluded by top echelons of the Labour Party (LP) in the state to kill him. “This is for daring to disclose on pages of newspapers some private discussions be-

tween him and Governor Olusegun Mimiko on the plea that he should return to LP and for threatening to begin legal action against the management of the state radio-vision corporation (OSRC).” Omodara gave OSRC management a seven-day ultimatum to apologise for airing a “defamatory report” about him on the radio and television station. The ultimatum expires today. The petition added: “Our client has no reason to doubt the sincerity and veracity of

the claims of the anonymous callers, if events in the recent weeks are anything to go by. “Let us state here for the umpteenth time that our client has continually cried out about threats to his life without anything being done. “Our client has a right to live without molestation, and threat to his departure from LP, which no doubt inflicted mortal injuries on the ruling party, but it should be understood that such a scenario is normal and expected in a democracy.”

Mimiko criticised for appointing Ajimuda as OSOPADEC chair


HE Action Congress of Nigeria (ACN) in Ilaje Local Government Area of Ondo State has criticised the government for endorsing the appointment of Mr Debo Ajimuda as the Chairman of the State Oil Producing Area Development Commission (OSOPADEC). The party noted that there was an ulterior motive behind the appointment. It said Ajimuda was the least qualified among several Ilaje indigenes for the position. Its Chairman, Prince Akin Esanmore-Okadigbo, spoke in Igbokoda, headquarters of the oil-rich local government, at a reception organised for a former Special Adviser to the Governor on Planning and Strategy, Saka Lawal, and his entourage. Lawal used the occasion to mobilise support for the ACN and the party’s progressive ideology among the youths. Esanmore-Okadigbo noted that Lawal’s visit was the first in Ilaje to be attended a large crowd. He said such an impressive crowd did not welcome Governor Olusegun Mimiko when he visited the area. The ACN chairman described the governor’s endorsement of Ajimuda for the OSOPADEC top job as “callous” to the Ilaje

From Damisi Ojo, Akure

people. He said: “Ajimuda, by all standards, is not qualified to hold any sensitive political position or even be saddled with the responsibility that is beyond a mere councillor. “But to our chagrin, Mimiko picked him as his candidate for the sensitive position, leaving other eminently qualified Ilaje from the running of the affairs of our commission. “Today, we have seen the reason Ajimuda was Mimiko’s preferred choice as OSOPADEC chairman: he has been used as a conduit pipe to loot and siphon over N61billion of the amount budgeted for the development of Ilaje land.” Esanmore-Okadigbo described Lawal’s governorship ambition as Ilajes’ aspiration. He noted that over the years, Lawal has proved that he is an outstanding and reliable politician. The ACN chairman said the Ilaje would back him and ensure that he succeeds in his aspiration. Welcoming over 1,000 defectors to ACN, Lawal thanked the people of Ilaje for their support and encouragement to the party and to him.





Nigeria’s forex reserves up 3.65%, says CBN


IGERIA’s foreign ex change reserves jumped by 3.63 per cent on the month to $36.05 billion on April 12, their highest in more than one year, the latest Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) data showed yesterday. The forex reserves stood at $34.47 billion a year ago and were at $34.74 billion a month earlier. Though the reserves have seen declining in the past three years despite rising oil prices, gradual reduction in demand for dollars at the biweekly forex auction this year has meant the CBN spends less of its reserves to support the naira. Nigeria relies on crude exports for more than 95 per cent of its foreign exchange earnings and investors watch reserve data closely to gauge the defences Africa’s second largest economy has against a potential dip in oil prices.

Naira falls at interbank, up at auction

11 Many people are under the impression that oil producing companies are playing games with the amount of crude that they produce and export. I want to state here categorically that the oil business is an international business. -Mutiu Sunmonu, MD, SPDC

US candidate Kim is World Bank president


MERICAN Jim Yong Kim was last night named as World Bank President. The Dartmouth College’s president was picked after an unprecedented competition against nominees from Dr Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala from Nigeria and Dr. Jose Ochampo from Columbia, who withdrew at the last minute. The bank board confirmed the decision in a statement. Kim will now be the institution’s 12th president to succeed Robert Zoellick when his five-year term ends in June.The Board expressed its deep gratitude for Mr Zoellick’s outstanding leadership and his dedication to reducing poverty in its member countries, the core mandate of the World Bank Group. A statement by the World Bank said: “The Executive Directors followed the new selection process agreed in 2011 which, for the first time in the Bank’s history, yielded mul-

• Promises to draw on Nigerian, Columbian candidates’ expertise • Jonathan, Okonjo-Iweala congratulate him From Nduka Chiejina, Asst. Editor

tiple nominees. This process included an open nomination where any national of the Bank’s membership could be proposed by any Executive Director or Governor, publication of the names of the candidates, interviews of the candidates by the Executive Directors, and final selection of the President.” It added: “We, the Executive Directors, wish to express our deep appreciation to all the nominees, Jim Yong Kim, José Antonio Ocampo and Mrs Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala. Their candidacies enriched the discus-

sion of the role of the President and of the World Bank Group’s future direction. The final nominees received support from different member countries, which reflected the high calibre of the candidates. We all look forward to working with Dr. Kim when he assumes his responsibilities. “Dr. Jim Yong Kim is currently President of Dartmouth College. A U.S. national. He is a co-founder of Partners in Health (PIH) and a former director of the Department of HIV/AIDS at the World Health Organisation (WHO). Before assuming the Dartmouth presidency, Dr. Kim held pro-

fessorships at Harvard Medical School and the Harvard School of Public Health. He also served as chair of the Department of Global Health and Social Medicine at Harvard Medical School, chief of the Division of Global Health Equity at Brigham and Women’s Hospital, and director of the François Xavier Bagnoud Center for Health and Human Rights at the Harvard School of Public Health.” In a statement after his election, Dr. Kim said he had spoken with Okonjo-Iweala and Prof. Ocampo. He said they have both made important contributions to economic development, and I look forward to drawing on their expertise in the years to come. Meanwhile,President Goodluck Ebele Jonathan has congratulated Dr. kim on his election as the new President of the World Bank. President Jonathan also thanked the leaders, governments,

Oil declines after Iran nuclear talks


HE naira weakened slightly against the U.S dollar on the interbank market yesterday, as confusion over the Nigeria National Petroleum Corporation’s (NNPC’s) planned dollar sales put dollar supply in doubt, but the local unit strengthened slightly at the official Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) auction. The naira closed at N157.45 to the dollar on the interbank, weaker than the N157.40 it closed at on Friday. Dealers, according to Reuters, said expected dollar inflow from the NNPC did not materialise because of a disagreement over pricing, causing the naira to fall at the interbank. A rise in demand for dollars toward the close of business put downward pressure on the local currency.


COMMODITY PRICES Oil -$123.6/barrel Cocoa -$2,686.35/metric ton Coffee - ¢132.70/pound Cotton - ¢95.17pound Gold -$1,800/troy ounce Rubber -¢159.21pound MARKET CAPITALISATIONS NSE -N6.503 trillion JSE -Z5.112trillion NYSE -$10.84 trillion LSE -£61.67 trillion RATES Inflation -12.6% Treasury Bills -7.08% Maximum lending-22.42% Prime lending -15.87% Savings rate -2% 91-day NTB -14.18% Time Deposit -5.49% MPR -12% Foreign Reserve $34.6b FOREX CFA 0.2958 EUR 206.9 £ 245 $ 156.4 ¥ 1.9179 SDR 241 RIYAL 40.472

peoples and friends of developing countries, as well as the media and other civil society groups, for the support and encouragement given to Dr. Okonjo-Iweala. Okonjo-Iweala, who had earlier said she was pressured to withdraw from the race but she declined, also congratulated Dr Kim on his election as the World Bank President. She said she looked forward to working with Dr Kim and would support him, staff and stakeholders of the World Bank Group for the benefit of poor people around the world, “their plight is at the heart of the mandate of the institution and we must never lose sight of that.” On the selection process, she insisted that “we need to make it more open, transparent and merit-based to make sure we do not contribute to a democratic deficit in global governance.”


• Commissioner, Inspectorate Division, National Pension Commission (PENCOM), Dr Musa Ibrahim, representing DG PENCOM; Managing Partner, Brandzone Consulting LLC, Chizor Malize and Chairman, Pensions Fund Operators Association of Nigeria, Dave Uduanu, at the workshop organised by Brandzone Consulting LLC in Abuja ... at the weekend.


IL fell a second day af ter the first interna tional talks in 15 months on Iran’s nuclear programme yielded an agreement to reconvene in May. Futures, according to Bloomberg declined as much as 0.9 per cent in New York after sliding 0.5 per cent last week. United Nations Security Council members including the US, UK, China, France and Russia plus Germany will meet Iranian delegates in Baghdad on May 23 following“constructive” talks in Istanbul on April 14, the European Union’s foreign policy chief said yesterday. Oil has advanced this year on concern that tension with Iran will disrupt global supplies.

Fed Govt stops provision for judgment debts

IGERIA will no longer make provisions for judgment debts in future budget preparations because it is being used for siphoning funds, the Coordinating Minister for the Economy and Minister for Finance Dr. Ngozi OkonjoIweala, said yesterday. Judgment debt is the amount of money in a judgment award to the winning party, which is owed to the winner by the losing party. Speaking at the 2012 budget presentation in Abuja, Okonjo-Iweala said, who raised the alarm about judgment debt that had risen to N80billion, noted that only N12bilion was provided for it in the 2012 budget. “There will no longer be provisioning for judgment debt so that people do not think that somewhere there is a pot of money that they can grab. I have never seen where judgment debt against a country just seems to be

•Total liabilities hit N6.8tr •‘2012 budget 80% implemented’ From Nduka Chiejina, Asst. Editor

mounting and mounting. This is very alarming. “ If there is a sector with an issue, that sector will have to settle its judgment debt out of their budget. I think this is the only way to curb it. When you start provisioning for something in Nigeria, all of a sudden, an industry springs up around it, so we are really working with Attorney-General, who is doing his best with is colleagues to address this issue,” she said Many of the judgment debts, she pointed out, were from past administrations. She said the government has to stop making provision to discourage people with undue cleverness. On the details of the 2012 budget, the minister said the

gross federally collectable revenue for 2012 is N9.692 trillion based on the bench mark oil production of 2.48 million barrels per day and a bench mark oil price of $72 per barrel which has been raised from the original $70 proposed by the National Assembly in December. This increase of $2 per barrel by the National Assembly, she explained, has yielded an additional N98.4 billion, out of which N50 billion was used to reduce the deficits and the domestic borrowing requirements while the balance was used to increase capital spending. Consequently, she said the total forecast revenue for the Federal Government is N3.5 trillion with an oil component of N1.9 trillion and a non-oil component of N1.6

trillion.The total expenditure approved in the 2012 budget comprised the regular budgetary appropriation of N4.69 trillion and an appropriation of N180 billion for the implementation of programmes and projects under the Subsidy Reinvestment and Empowerment Programme (SURE). Personnel cost of N1.65 trillion, which represents 35 per cent of aggregate expenditure that reflects several wage increases granted in recent times and which led to 93 per cent increase between 2009 and 2012. The rising wage bill, she said, “is disturbing because it undermines our ability to invest in capital projects. We must look at this area in the medium term consolidation planning.” According to the budget breakdown, in the 2012 budget, deficit is N1.13 trillion or 2.85 per cent of the Gross Domestic Product

(GDP) which is within the three per cent of GDP threshhold set by the fiscal responsibility Act. The provision for domestic borrowing was down to N7.4 billion compared to N852 million in the 2011 budget. By this development, the government has resolved to control the rising domestic debt profile, which has been a source of concern. To this end, the budget has made provision for N559.6 billion for domestic and foreign debt servicing while external debt and domestic debts are $5.9billion and N5.96 trillion. Both domestic and external amounted to N6.8 trillion or $44 billion. Meanwhile, Minister of State for Finance, Dr. Yerima Ngama, yesterday said the Ministries, Departments and Agencies (MDAs) achieved 80 per cent implementation of the last year’s budget.





Fed Govt unveils roadmap for aviation

HE Federal Government has inaugurated a new roadmap to reposition the aviation sector to meet international standards. The Minister of Aviation, Princess Stella Oduah, disclosed this during an interactive session with aviation stakeholders yesterday in Abuja. She said the Nigerian Civil Aviation Authority (NCAA) and other regulatory bodies would be reformed and integrated, adding that the NCAA has the responsibility to protect the interest of Nigerians, especially price disparity. She noted that the Bilateral Aviation Safety Agreement (BASA) the government signed with airline operators would soon be reviewed. She promised to collaborate with the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) Governor, Lamido Sanusi, to provide funds for local airliners

• ‘Why British Airways can’t reduce airfares’

By Kelvin Osa-Okunbor, Olugbenga Adanikin And Adebowale Adenike

through single digit interest rates. She said the new framework is expected to transform the sector to an efficient, profitable, effective and preferred mode of transportation, adding that the on-going reconstruction at Lagos, Abuja and Port Harcourt international airports would be completed by the end of May. While explaining that 90 per cent of revenue generated from the sector last year came from the Lagos and Abuja airports, the minister said the total number of travel tickets sold within last year was N225 billion. Speaking on the controversy sur-

rounding the air fare disparity, the aviation minister maintained that the interest of Nigerian travellers must be protected. She said the nation’s constitution is binding on every individual and corporate organisations, adding that there should be compliance. Earlier, the Chairman Senate Committee on Aviation, Hon. Hope Uzodinma, urged the minister to give priority to safety and customer satisfaction. While admitting that the sector is faced with various challenges, she expressed optimism on the new framework, which is capable of addressing the problems. Meanwhile, British Airways yesterday gave reasons its fares cannot be slashed, citing high costs of operations into Nigeria, market

demand and other sundry reasons. This may be viewed as defiance of the ultimatum given by the Federal Government to stop the carrier from flying into Nigeria from April 25, 2012 if it does not reduce it fares on the Lagos - London route. BA, which spoke through its consultant, The Quadrant Company in a statement explained, that it was regrettable that the airline has such high fare offering, which is subject to a litany of operational factors. It said: “Comparing fares across different routes is notoriously difficult due to the number of factors, which can influence pricing. Distance and geographic location are just two relatively minor factors. Of far greater importance are factors such as market size, demand mix (the proportion of premium to economy

traffic), comparative operational costs and, most significantly in this case, capacity.” BA explained that in particular that Nigeria and Ghana differ substantially in terms of passenger demand mix. “The market in Ghana is smaller than Nigeria and has lower premium traffic as a proportion of total traffic. Premium passengers in Nigeria tend to book closer to the date of travel which results in higher fares, and once revenue management principles are applied British Airways allocates a number of seats to each fare class and cheaper fares are available for bookings made in advance of the travel date, but these will necessarily be limited to ensure that there are still seats available for purchase closer to the date of travel. This will, therefore, have an impact on prices, as it would do in any high demand/capacity restricted market.

Lagos to partner BoI on SMEs’ funding


By Miriam Ndikanwu

HE Lagos Government has concluded arrangements with the Bank of Industry to provide funds for small and medium scale enterprises (SMEs) in the state. Speaking at a meeting at the headquarters of the bank in Marina, the state Commissioner for Commerce and Industry, Mrs. Olusola Oworu, said the collaboration became necessary since funding is one of the major factors militating against the growth of SMEs in the State. She explained that the meeting would create an opportunity for the parties to devise a means of controlling fraud in the system. She noted that the state government and the bank should be prepared for challenges for promoting SMEs in the state.

Banking crisis over, says AMCON CEO


HE banking crisis is over and the sector’s earnings should see a substantial recovery when results come in for the first quarter of 2012, the Chief Executive Officer, Asset Management Corporation of Nigeria (AMCON), Mustafa Chike-Obi, has said. Speaking at the Reuters Africa Investment Summit in Lagos, he said earnings in the banking sector would recover well in the first quarter of the year, after suffering last year because of write-downs on bad debt. “The numbers we’re seeing in the first quarter are very robust,” he said, adding that three nationalised banks were all now profitable. We should wait to the second quarter of this year before passing judgment. I will not tell you that nothing surprising can come up, but the banking crisis of 2007-2009 is over”. The banking sector was the second worst performing index on the local exchange in 2011, falling 32 per cent, with only oil and gas doing worse. Seven out of 15 local lenders listed on the exchange have announced 2011 earnings, with most posting higher-than-expected loan losses. FCMB has reported a loss while UBA issued a profit warning. Diamond Bank also reported a loss last year, but swung back to profit in the first quarter. “Nigerian banks are the healthiest banks in the world in terms of asset quality and capital,” Chike-Obi said. He said AMCON was the largest institutional holder of Nigerian bank stocks “And we’re happy to hold them. We’re not selling.” AMCON plans to refinance its N1.7 trillion three-year bond with maturities of somewhere between seven and 10 years when the debt expires next year.




Nigeria faces big oil price risk, says Sanusi A

SHARP fall in oil prices would be a relief for much of the world, but for Nigeria it could spell big trouble, says the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) Governor, Lamido Sanusi. “There will be a very bad day and a lot of gnashing of teeth if the oil price crashes and we haven’t saved a thing,”he said in an interview with Reuters news. Nigeria is one of the world’s fastest-growing economies - gross domestic product expanded by more than seven per cent last year - and foreign investors have poured money into its financial markets to take advantage of high interest rates. But it remains dependent on oil production which accounts for about 80 per cent of government revenues, Sanusi said. He is a leading advocate for an overhaul of Nigeria’s economy to make it less exposed to fluctuations

• Expects naira to remain stable in oil prices, a campaign which has drawn opposition from the country’s powerful state governors. They fear reforms such as creating a sovereign wealth fund could prevent them from dipping into Nigeria’s windfall oil revenues. Sanusi noted recent discussions between the US and the industrialised nations about the possible release of strategic petroleum reserves, and signs that producer countries such as Saudi Arabia might increase output to help bring down oil prices. “Our major concern is a major decline in the price of oil or (domestic) output would lead to a massive depreciation of the currency, a collapse in reserves and a huge growth in deficits and some of the states outside of the oil-producing region might find actually themselves in a situation

where are not able to pay salaries,” he said. “I am trained to think in terms of ‘what if’ and that’s the mindset I bring to my job. What happens if oil prices go to $50 a barrel? It’s happened before.” Sanusi, a former banker who specialised in risk management and who is allied with Finance Minister Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala in the push for reforms, has warned that Nigeria’s system of subsidising fuel prices is unsustainable. The Nigerian government tried to scrap the subsidies, but backtracked after widespread protests earlier this year and partially reinstated them. Sanusi said the government should spend no more than the 880 billion naira for subsidies in 2012 earmarked in the budget signed by

President Goodluck Jonathan on Friday. “I would simply like to see that the government does not pay a penny more than that, no matter what happens,” he said. Asked how low oil prices would need to fall before they pose a risk to Nigeria, Sanusi said a decline to around $85 or $90 a barrel - from around $120 now - could lead to a shortfall in projected revenues and higher budget deficits, if Nigeria’s oil output does not increase. Speaking on Friday, Sanusi said the CBN was comfortable with its monetary policy stance, having hiked interest rates sharply last year, but that could change if the government breaks its new 2012 budget. The budget includes an assumed average oil price of $72 a barrel, any earnings over which are saved into the country’s excess crude account. That is $2 more than the level rec-

ommended by the central bank, but the difference did not translate into a major increase in the planned level of spending, Sanusi said. “So, I don’t think the headline numbers alone would justify a change in monetary stance from where we are today,” he said. The Central Bank implemented a string of rate hikes in 2011 that pushed the benchmark borrowing rate to 12 per cent. “We front-loaded most of the tightening. We met seven times last year and tightened six times out of seven.” A surprise dip in inflation seen in February from January’s level might continue until about April before an up-tick starting in April or May and price growth could peak at around 14.5 per cent in the third quarter before slowing to single digits in late 2013, Sanusi said.










Lethal weapon •Electricity workers must stop using strike threats to disrupt power sector reform


HE recent threat by labour unions working in the nation’s power sector to embark on industrial action as a way of expressing their displeasure with the sacking of three executives of the Power Holding Company of Nigeria (PHCN) by the Minister of Power is a sad reminder of the way in which Nigeria’s workers have misused the weapon of strikes in recent times. The Senior Staff Association of Electricity and Allied Companies (SSAEAC) and the National Union of Electricity Employees (NUEE) were protesting the firing of Mr. Akinwunmi Bada, Managing Director of the Transmission Company of Nigeria (TCN), Mr. Uzoma Achinanya, the TCN’s Market Operator, and Mr. Muyiwa Olushoga, PHCN’s Head of Human Resources. According to the unions, the sackings could not be justified because the officials involved had nothing to do with the power crisis currently confronting the country. They also argued that the sacked executives could not be held responsible for the drastic shortfalls in public power supply. For its part, the Ministry of Power has said that the measure was part of a comprehensive effort to identify and deal with individuals whose attitudes and actions were posing an obstacle to the attainment of its objectives. Regardless of what the rights and wrongs of the sackings are, the powersector labour unions clearly responded in a manner that was both inappropriate and arbitrary. The SSAEAC and the NUEE appear to be saying that the ministry has no right to fire officials of

parastatals it supervises. They also seem to be implying that they, rather than the ministry, have the responsibility to identify and resolve the shortcomings within the power sector. If indeed these unions feel that they can intervene in the functions of the Ministry of Power in this way, they are mistaken. The ministry is statutorily entrusted with the responsibility of regulating the activities of the various parastatals and agencies which make up the power sector. As the unions of workers employed in the sector, SSAEAC and NUEE can only work with those parastatals and the ministry to ensure that their workers receive a fair deal for their labour. Their roles do not extend to the formulation or enunciation of policy. Would these unions welcome the ministry’s involvement in union matters? If they feel that the affected officials were badly treated, the best they can do is to ensure that the individuals concerned seek redress using all legitimate means available at their disposal. Calling a strike that would further damage an already-comatose power sector simply because some officials were sacked amounts to a gross abuse of power. It would be an attempt to blackmail the ministry into granting the wishes of the unions, a particularly insensitive action given the fact that both parties are currently engaged in far-reaching negotiations on the implications of the ongoing power reforms. The manner in which the SSAEAC, the NUEE and other unions have resorted to the strike weapon or threats of it in re-

cent times is indicative of an increasing determination to embark on industrial action for the most trivial of reasons. When tanker drivers are compelled to obey traffic regulations, their union goes on strike. When government intervenes to bring peace among warring transport workers, they go on strike. Since their motive is often selfish and ill-intentioned, such strikes fail to provide anything more than temporary succour for the workers and worsen the nation’s economic prospects in both the short and the long-term. It is good that the electricity workers have shelved the strike but Nigeria’s labour unions must realise that the adoption of unnecessarily confrontational attitudes is a strategy which does not advance the interests of the workers or the nation as a whole.

‘If they feel that the affected officials were badly treated, the best they can do is to ensure that the individuals concerned seek redress using all legitimate means available at their disposal. Calling a strike that would further damage an already-comatose power sector simply because some officials were sacked amounts to a gross abuse of power’

Road to judicial fascism? •Magistrate Oshoniyi’s conduct is a new high low in judicial impunity


F executive impunity is bad enough and it is the bane of this polity, the April 4 conduct of Aderonke Oshoniyi, a magistrate at the Ikeja Magistrate’s Court in Lagos, in causing 13 journalists on lawful duty to be railroaded into police detention, is a pointer to judicial impunity. That brazen act must be condemned by all before putative judicial impunity progressively decays into judicial fascism. Even in the case of contempt of court, which really is a judge acting as accuser and judge in his or her own case, but for the sacred majesty of the court, there are strict rules and procedures. Before a judge can cite an accused for contempt, he or she would at least have announced the intention in the open court; and the contempt convicts would have been aware of the reasons they were being jailed. In this case of Mrs. Oshoniyi, no such

‘Mrs. Oshoniyi has not done the Bench proud the way she conducted herself. If a trained legal mind and a magistrate to boot has such mindset of impunity, how safe are accused persons in her court? As for the savagery of robot-like police officials who perpetuated the assault, such bad eggs have survived in the police because there are always no swift sanctions for such gross professional misconduct’

legal finesse was necessary. All that happened was a magistrate’s manic flexing of muscles to “deal” with journalists doing their lawful duty in her court. The magistrate apparently forgot that the same law and due process that created the magistracy and gave her the power to convict or acquit, gave journalists the right – not to be abridged by anyone in a democracy – to cover proceedings in open courts. What are the reported facts? It was at a coroner’s inquest and there was some reported animation outside the courtroom, between an unidentified female police prosecutor and social worker, which reportedly attracted the attention of the magistrate. The prosecutor had asked the journalists to vacate the corridor, where they were alleged to be distracting coroner proceedings. The journalists took exception to her reported uncouth approach and protested. The exchange attracted the magistrate who in anger, even without investigation, ordered that the police arrest the journalists. That was the beginning of the bedlam that led to the police assault, destroying a Blackberry phone belonging to one of the journalists, and seizing a camera belonging to Channels Television, aside from one resounding slap, courtesy of a lawless policeman. After the shameful assault and battery instigated by purported officers of the law, the arrested journalists were bundled into a vehicle and driven to

‘Area F’ Police facility. But for the intervention of Noah Adesanye, the area’s zonal commander; and Dele Adesina, SAN, with Sebastian Hon, SAN, aside from other ranking members of the Nigerian Bar Association (NBA) Ikeja Branch, the journalists would have suffered worse fate. When senior policemen reportedly saw the calibre of lawyers that came on rescue mission for the journalists, they lost their nerves and melted from the scene. That led to the release of the journalists. But the trauma and illegality of the arbitrary action could not be undone. Mrs. Oshoniyi has not done the Bench proud the way she conducted herself. If a trained legal mind and a magistrate to boot has such mindset of impunity, how safe are accused persons in her court? As for the savagery of robot-like police officials who perpetuated the assault, such bad eggs have survived in the police because there are always no swift sanctions for such gross professional misconduct. Time for all that to stop. It is good that the Lagos State Chapter of the Nigeria Union of Journalists (NUJ) has decided to sue both Magistrate Oshoniyi and the Inspector-General of Police (IGP). That is the civilised way to go about it. If it takes the severity of the courts to teach a magistrate, supposed high priest in the shrine of justice and the Police, supposed sacred enforcers of the law, basic decorum towards citizens with legitimate business in the courts, so be it. Such barbaric conduct must never be tolerated

The time for real postal reform is now


OR ANYONE who still does not quite grasp the technologically obsolescent U.S. Postal Service’s calamitous financial situation, here are a few facts from Thursday’s Government Accountability Office report. First-class mail, the source of half of USPS’s revenue, has declined from 104 billion pieces per year to 74 billion pieces over the last decade. Estimates are that volume will shrink by 34 billion more pieces by 2020. Meanwhile, the postal service calculates that almost half of its 461 mail-processing facilities are redundant. The USPS’s $25 billion in losses over the last five fiscal years have left it within $2 billion of exhausting its $15 billion line of credit with the U.S. Treasury, which is the only thing standing between the postal service and total collapse. In February, USPS projected that annual losses would rise to $21 billion by 2016 and proposed a plan to cut costs by an offsetting amount. This would involve dramatic reductions in the USPS infrastructure and workforce. But there appears to be no alternative. “The Postmaster General has stated that maintaining a vast national postal infrastructure is no longer realistic,” the GAO notes. If the postal service were a private company, its shareholders would be clamoring for it to get on with the restructuring, pronto. But USPS answers to Congress, which gets lobbied by “stakeholders” – i.e., special-interest groups – that benefit from the status quo. And so, as the GAO report points out, “stakeholder issues” stand in the way of necessary action. Business mailers fret that eliminating mail processing centers could raise their costs; ditto various publishers. The fact that, without reform, the costs would get shifted to someone else, quite possibly taxpayers, seems not to trouble them. Postal unions cling to contracts that require only modest employee contributions to health care, make it essentially impossible to lay off many workers and forbid transferring employees to new jobs more than 50 miles away. Last, but not least, members of Congress defend their districts’ postal facilities, no matter how underutilized or inefficient. For years Congress has kicked this particular can down the road, but time is running out. USPS agreed last December to postpone closing facilitiesuntil May 15, pending legislation to resolve its crisis. There are two competing bills, one in the Senate and one in the House. The Senate bill would shrink the workforce by up to 100,000 through $7 billion in early retirement packages but is otherwise tepid. For example, it would require the postal service to consider downsizing installations before closing them. The House bill is much more realistic: It would overcome political resistance to closing facilities by appointing a commission similar to the one that trimmed excess defense installations, allow USPS to move more quickly to five-day delivery and bar no-layoff clauses in labor agreements. For better or worse, our children’s children will marvel at the fact that anyone ever used to send the paper thing called “a letter.” They’ll be amazed to learn that we unnecessarily spent billions of dollars propping up a huge, inefficient system for moving those things around. But what would really astound future generations is that we borrowed that money and left it to them to pay it back. – Washington Post

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IR: Despite all the crocodile tears being shed by Nigerian ruling elites, about the abysmal reading culture and dismal education quality, the glaring fact is that they are comfortable with the current horrible situations. Nothing exemplifies this than the state of Nigerian libraries. I am not referring to various elite libraries like the presidential library, but those that should be available to the vast majority of our youth and poor Nigerians, who constitute the majority of the population. Public libraries, from my understanding should be able to serve the knowledge quest of every strata of the society. A well-organized and developed library system can serve as a tool for national development.


Where are the libraries? This will mean that local, state and federal governments will commit resources to developing wellstocked public libraries. Developing public library system will not mean abandoning or trashing out specialized libraries like the school libraries, court libraries, departmental/agency libraries, research libraries, etc, most of which are currently in total mess. On the con-

trary, it will mean integrating these libraries into a complete, inter-connected library system, with public libraries serving as mini/ reference libraries for specialized libraries. With well-funded and well-organized library system, it will be possible to support and develop our local authors. It will be easy to promote genuine writers and authors, while also developing gen-

erations of readers. It will also be easy for government to genuinely promote reading culture, and engage many youths in active intellectual work. For instance, with properly functioning libraries, teachers will have access to books on how to improve their work. Education policy makers will have no excuse of not knowing what is going on. Furthermore, it will cre-

As Gbenga Daniel is back in the dock


IR: It was an occasion for dancing, singing and merriment for the former Ogun State Governor Gbenga Daniels when an Abeokuta High Court dismissed the case filed against him by the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission. But this is proving to be a short-lived celebration. I understand that the EFCC has secured the approval of the Chief Judge of the Ogun State, Justice O.O Olopade to re- arraign the Ex- governor. During the last dismissal of the case it was said that Justice Mabekoje advised the EFCC to refile their charges as it failed to seek the consent of court before amending the charge. This is indeed a moment of dejavu for some of us who believe in the rule of law as it shows and that

all hope is not lost. I am proud in the sense that despite the criticism heaped on the EFCC, the Commission did not give up; they are still fighting to rid the country of corrupt politicians and individuals who turns the public treasury into

their personal purse. I hope Justice Mabejoke will look into the substantive case this time around and ensure that justice is done. This time, no technicality should be allowed to frustrate the dispensation of justice.

Lastly, we should also note that it is not only that justice must be done; justice must be seen to be done. • Rachel Fola Lagos

Lokoja needs facelift


IR: Various moves by the government of Captain Idris Wada of Kogi State to accord Lokoja the state capital a face lift should be seen as right step taken in the right direction to place the state capital at par with other state capitals that have seen development in all segments. Kogi, created with other states in 1991 has not seen much progress in term of physical development. The development plan of the capital, Lokoja has been distorted by some

selfish people for their personal interest to the detriment of its progress. The decision by the state government to relocate some shops and markets along major roads would give the town a befitting status. The government should not waver in this direction by providing conducive environment to traders that would be required to move to the area where they would not cause untold hardship to the people in the state capital. Noteworthy is that Deputy Gover-

nor, Architect Yomi Awoniyi would bring his wealth of experience to give the state capital the look that befits its status and hence would be a source of pride to the generality of the people. One hopes that the government would adhere to the masterplan considering its status as one time federal capital of Nigeria. • Bala Nayashi Lokoja

ate generations of critical minds who will have access to information and will be able to ask questions about the running of society. Even on a minimal level, governments, especially at local and state levels can undertake activities like reading, quiz, essay and debate competitions, amongst students and youth in schools and communities. Debate, reading and press clubs can be easily established in schools and communities. This will have positive impact on quality of education, and quality of school leavers. In fact, in saner climes, public libraries have sections for children with such services as story telling, games, reading competitions, etc, with a view to grooming generations of reading youth. In fact, mobile library systems have become popular in other countries, offering lending services, with a view to reaching the rural and distant communities. With provision of other youth centred facilities like community sport facilities, it can be easy to take many youths away from vices (this however, is no excuse for the nonprovision of jobs for youths). Of course, developing library system is not the solution to problems facing education; however, it is a vital aspect of its development. For instance, developing school libraries will raise the questions concerning the quality and quantity of classrooms, laboratories, workshops, sporting facilities, teaching and non-teaching staff, etc. in schools, which for serious and forward looking governments, will be seen as part of the integrated process for educational development. • Kola Ibrahim Enuwa, Ile-Ife, Osun State.





Casualties like Abati would E-ABATI: How to kill a never cease, so long as some columnist. When Abati was bright minds have the illusion appointed and we were to that they can successfully comment on his appointment, I knew launder the image of an that he had committed professional assemblage of electoral suicide. What an end to a superb career! fraudsters and gangsters like Remember IBB’s chosen one? All we PDP. – A. Fafila, Akure, Ondo want from Abati now is a just and simple State, +2347082482757. definition of bribe/corruption. As for Olakunle Re-”Abati: how to kill a the Anglican Church’s defence, they are columnist”. Well written and, 08054504169 (Sms only, please) comrades-in-crime for accepting that Abimbola insightful. You and few other church building. Wait a minute: you may guys like Tatalo, Omatseye and be a pauper on 9 April 2012 and become reasons I buy The Nation daily. a billionaire on 10 April 2012. That is a You and other Abati media miracle as far as these churches are friends should talk to him and concerned, once you pay them 10 per salvage whatever is left of his cent! This is more especially of the integrity. There is life after the Feedback prosperity churches, who keep telling Jonathan administration. the naive ones in their congregation that Dr. Reuben Abati, presidential chief spokesperson, was on trial on this page last week, right? Wrong! He wasn’t. But the Maybe he will also publish a their God is not that of poverty. Thank you for this one. Churches in Nigeria way most readers had responded, he would appear the soft target of a hurting people venting their spleen. The sobering fact, book to launder his image like are richer than the CBN. What is the however, is that, to paraphrase the Bible, everyone has sinned and fallen short of the glory of this polity: the Presidency, the Segun Adeniyi. With Abati’s defence of government doing concerning churches Church, once-upon-a-time columnists and current grandstanding ones with an eye on the big cash political appointment! unpatriotic iniquities, the leading lights in paying tax? – Akinlayo Ayinde, Ulesa, Everyone should feel positively challenged to change tack and work better for the development of the country. are showing Meanwhile, tear through the readers’ verdict. Enjoy it – though it might taste as bitter as gall if you were at the receiving end! Nigeria Ipinle Omoluabi (Osun State), dangerous trends. They are not better than the political class +2348055679465. misspeaks? - +2348037128310 they often take to the cleaners. The forefathers of Nigeria’s Dr. Abati is introducing “baawa” journalism – no dissent; Your analysis is solid and sound. But as a bourgeois writer, journalism would be turning in their graves! It shows Abati as just agree with whatever Goodluck Jonathan does or says – you cannot see that Nigeria is a neo-colonialist capitalist state a hypocrite camouflaging as defender of public good. Media, “baawa”: no disagreement among the Egba! Principled and that the rulers are pro-imperialists. The Otuoke church like medicine, law and religious obligations are more of a journalism has existed and will continue to be, even after story is about ignorance and superstition, which are the pillars calling than occupation for bread and butter. Abati has led “third term”! – Adeleke-Forster, +2348033208546. of colonialism and neo-colonialism. Yes, Abati has not betrayed himself into a trap set by those who wanted the demise of this Prior to reading your piece, “Abati: How to kill a his class as a bourgeois intellectual. – Amos Ejimonye, Kaduna, contraption called Nigeria. I weep for his fans. columnist”, I had long been in a wilderness of sorts, Kaduna State, +2348039727512. +2348023077673. wondering what had become of Dr. Abati since taking up the Let us bury the church war with GEJ. Don’t forget, Abati must Thanks for your “badi belle” journalism. Please write about job of presidential chief spokesperson. What will become of do his job and that job is not what anyone should envy. I’ll National Mosque Abuja and Julius Berger before insulting Dr. Abati when his time is up in the Presidency? Surely, and continue to blame GEJ less, but rather blame Nigerians for not Otuoke and Christianity. - +2348052621742. as sure as sunshine, he will someday leave; then shall we looking deep and far enough before voting PDP into power. You will never see a Muslim publicly condemn his Imam/ have a right of reply. For now, we are at the barricades. – The problem is not just GEJ. It’s quite beyond him. We cannot mosque the way “Christians” like you do. That is why they Kanai Musa, Kaduna State, +2348029109696. in all honesty divorce him from the vampires in PDP. The are bombing us. – Bayo, Zaria, +2348028721705. This is just to inform you that your piece entitled “Abati: electorate lost it by giving PDP victory. They gave it through Re-”Abati: How to kill a columnist”. Why would the most How to kill a columnist”, to me, was a must-read piece. the shy, slow, shoeless and clueless man with the horde of ‘righteous’ be whipping up unedifying sentiments about a Abati has the responsibility to as diligently as possible hustlers calling the shots. So, PDP plus GEJ equals Disaster. matter so simple as Jona de Lucky’s desecration of the discharge his duties. He is only swimming in muddy waters. Chikena! – Dave Blankson, +2348058514944. Constitution? This was how, during the petrol-ignited ‘fire’ of More power to your elbows! - +2348034518035. I have been searching for Dr. Abati’s telephone number to ask January, Pastor Ayo Oritsejafor wondered aloud why Nigerians Dr. Abati clearly defines the character of the Nigerian him why? Just why has he been behaving recklessly since he were rallying against the removal of subsidy and not Boko columnist – who writes to earn a living and not out of joined this good-for-nothing GEJ aimless government? In fact, Haram! Haba! When are we going to grow up? The Anglican conviction. Nobody is deceived. – Timothy, Abuja, he is the greatest failure of the millennium. Segun Adeniyi was Church is quite capable of taking care of their parishes, if they +2348058516779. far more mature in government than our disaster called Abati. – want. And so, Archbishop Okoh should stop playing politics Your view on Abati’s seeming turnaround is pitiable, given KSK Oloyede, Kano, +2348076333555. of the stomach with this exalted position, lest he incurs the his articles while on the masses’ side. But what worries me is wrath of men and that of God! As for ‘Booda Rubi’, we all know that given the undulating praise given to Asiwaju Bola Tinubu “Dr. Abati is introducing “baawa” he is tired of being a veteran and has elected to be a well paid on his recent birthday by some of my favourite columnists To me, he is no different from the men of God (even if deserved), am I to believe that if he achieves the journalism – no dissent; just agree with propagandist! mentioned above. They should all remember one thing, Presidency for which he is qualified, you and others would whatever Goodluck Jonathan does or says – though: every problem one has begins to look like a nail when still remain on the side of the masses or become turncoats “baawa”: no disagreement among the Egba!” the only weapon one has is a hammer! Bonjour. – Kayode A, like Abati, if the president has to take tough decisions or Abeokuta, Ogun State, +2348073821313.


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Re: How to kill a columnist


FTER reading excerpts of tales-by-moonlight report credited to the Department of State Security on an alleged “secessionist plot” by Osun State governor Rauf Aregbesola and published in Saturday Sun of April 14, I couldn’t resist the feeling that the PDP may have found in the State Security Service, its Man Friday in the mission to destabilise the elected administration in Osun State. If you have not read the newspaper account of the of the so-called intelligence report, which came off like the PDP manual to re-take the state of Osun by means foul than fair, with of course the governor as the main target, I guess it is time to grab a copy. The security report –the substance of the newspaper story – is said to have been penned by Ekpeyong Ita, head of the SSS for the PDP federal government. Palpable was the proverbial hand of Esau in what portends a plot to make the state ungovernable for the Action Congress of Nigeria administration in the state. A paraphrase of the SSS report goes like this: Osun State governor, Ogbeni Rauf Aregbesola is planning to take his “State of Osun” outside of the Nigerian federation. For proof, they cite an anthem which the SSS says he plays at state functions as against the national anthem. They also add that he has a 20,000-strong O’YES army of youth cadets already mobilised. Remember the “army” taken out of unemployment with the governor’s novel job-creation initiative that is now the toast of the World Bank? That is the battalion with which Aregbesola wants to take his “state of Osun” out of the republic! Not to forget – the governor is said to have dispensed with the services of the SSS operatives attached to him, replacing them with Islamic extremists called ‘Tawun’. As mark of identity for his “State of Osun theocracy”, uniforms of secondary schools in Osun are said to have been changed with the wearing of hijab made compulsory for female students. While the budding break-away republic is said to be awaiting the arrival of the revolutionary brigade from Cuba, a band of Islamic militants are said to be on ground already to enforce compliance with the new diktat in Aregbesola’s emerging theocratic state! Of course, if it sounds to you like fiction, the classic stuff of which Nollywood films are made, it is what the SSS has packaged as intelligence for the attention and necessary action of the Jonathan-led federal government! And this is what the PDP-led administration seems determined to use to undermine the authority of the legitimate administration in Osun. And wait for this: it is even reported that the federal government has “mobilized all security agencies in the country to put Osun State governor, Engr Rauf Aregbesola on 24-hour surveillance”. Desperation and to what purpose? To counter the threat from the phantom army of Islamic jihadists – the prelude to secession from the Fed-

Policy Sanya Oni 08051101841

Osun: template for destabilisation eral Republic of Nigeria! God have mercy! To start with, nothing seems to have changed not just for the SSS in terms of how it perceives its functions in constitutional environment as against when it operated under the military. It is still the same tactics of ‘find and fix’. I guess this also holds true for those in charge of the federal leviathan with their penchant to suborn state institutions for their dirty jobs. Theirs is no taking of prisoners. Applied to Osun – a state wrested by the courts from the claws of electoral robbers – it seems a case of finally bringing into ruination what the PDP bandits cannot recover through legal means. I begin by saying that if the state of the nation’s security is any measure of its operational dexterity, Nigerians would be wise to take their “intelligence” with a pinch of salt. The same however cannot be said of its capacity to sex up intelligence. In this, only those enamoured of state sponsored violence would endorse what seems to me an open license to destabilisation of a part of the republic by a covert agency maintained with the taxpayers’ money. To start with, what is the basis of the authority of a state agency to keep an elected governor under so-called security watch? Where is the place of the courts in the situation where the state government is feared to have overstepped the bounds of its authority? Imagine the SSS dredging up routine governance stuff as security report – the kind that the opposition would find handy in putting the governor to task. Is SSS a political party? A general school uniform in state public schools – primary and secondary school is now subject of security report for which the governor must now be found answerable to some self-appointed security prefects? And then, the O’YES and O’CLEAN – two initiatives that have 0earned the administra-

tion commendation from far and near have suddenly transformed into militias before the jury of SSS? All in the name of politics? While I do not want to be uncharitable as to describe the SSS report as pepper-soup intelligence, it seems to me as falling below what might be considered a credible report from a professional agency. Is it not the same country where rival militias have parcelled out territories for exclusive jurisdiction while the security agencies feign helplessness? Does it seem any forgivable that a confused but hyperactive presidency, would through the security establishment settle for soft targets to convince itself that it is still in charge? Is Osun gambit some attempt at psycho-therapy – a case of taking on what appears a light-weight when the bigger enemy is beyond reach? It is just as well that in picking this target, the federal government, nay its covert agency, failed miserably to apply the due rigour of intellect as would be expected of a respectable intelligence outfit – at least to make itself credible for once! The cloak is off! In closing, let me say that I know of three legitimate avenues to rein in a governor found to have overstepped lawful bounds. First is the judiciary – the final, indubitable arbiter in matters of law, in which reside the powers to declare actions by the governor legal or illegal. Then is the legislature –in whose hand lies the power to sanction or remove outright, an erring governor. Then of course is the almighty electorate in whose hands lies the power to elect or reject an unwanted leader. Outside of the three, I am still struggling to find the place of a “security report” or a federal might that would yank a governor off his seat. As for those making the bid to make Osun State ungovernable, there is history – that ever patient teacher to instruct anyone who cares on the futility of war against the people. It may well be that in Nigeria anything is possible, but then the end is not always what it seems.

‘Is it not the same country where rival militias have parcelled out territories for exclusive jurisdiction while the security agencies feign helplessness? Does it seem any forgivable that a confused but hyperactive presidency, would through the security establishment settle for soft targets to convince itself that it is still in charge?’



EDITORIAL/OPINION HE social media is fast becoming the quickest way to get the latest news of the day as Citizen Journalists latch on to the likes of Facebook, Twitter, Blackberry Messenger and Youtube to disseminate news/views to the teeming audience. Professional Journalists are also adding their professional touch to this increasingly popular medium of mass communication by not just breaking news there but also moderating what others have to say to avoid excesses and abuse. One major news break that I got recently came via Blackberry Messenger or BBM for short. A colleague who seemingly could not get his hands off his BBM wanted Nigerians to rise against the new vehicle number plate introduced by the Federal Road Safety Corps (FRSC). He couldn’t see any reason for it other than extortion (rather harsh I think) of the public by the FRSC. He couldn’t see anything spectacular about the new number plate compared with the old/existing one other than a mere rearrangement of the letters and numbers, with a map of Nigeria embedded. Why should we be compelled to change the existing number plate and pay exorbitantly for the new one, he queried? He was really annoyed. I must confess I was not really paying much attention to this and the issue of the new Driver’s license until I got this message from him. And when I went on Facebook and saw the same issue being discussed and the various comments posted, I knew the FRSC has a big problem on its hands. How do you get the public to see the need for this change? The people were probably right, but their argument was somehow misplaced. Their main concern was the cost of a new number plate and the envisaged difficulty in procuring one. They are probably not asking the right question; why the change? Without holding brief for the FRSC, as someone that had been part of the organization right from inception, having been covering its activities as a reporter and following such with keen interest, one can confidently say that the crisis of identity that followed the failed merger of the FRSC with the Police in the not too distant past had affected much of its operations and credibility in the eyes of the public. The corrupt tendencies of the Police must have rubbed off on the FRSC during the brief period of the merger that some of the good



RAY, what is Nigerian turning into? That the unelected wife of the president, the first lady, is allowed to hold a city of over 12 million people to ransom, paralyzing all economic and social activity. Last Thursday in Lagos we had on display a naked show of strength and overzealousness condemnable in every sense of the word. It was an assault on the rights and sensibilities of Nigerians, unsurpassed in recent times that the wife of the president, whose name was never on the ballot and whose role is not recognized by the Nigerian constitutional is accorded such expanse of power and the abuse of same. For a ‘Thank You and Peace Advocacy’ visit it was an overkill. Why choose Lagos for a thank you visit meant for South-South women voters? Lagos and Lagosians went through hell last Thursday when Patience Jonathan, the wife of the President of Nigeria invaded Lagos. For nine hours she shut down Lagos and turned the lives of residents to hell. The whole security apparatus of the federal government and other personnel and services were deployed and put at her service. I recall the President himself had visited Lagos a few times in the recent past, yet the city did not groan or suffer a shut down like we saw last Thursday. The President is Nigeria’s constitutional leader. He was the one that Nigerians voted for and by virtue of his position within the ambit of the law enjoys the highest level of protection and security. It is however most unjustifiable for his wife, who is unrecognized in our constitution by any stretch of imagination to appropriate the same protection enjoyed by the president. Just imagine. Nigeria will be an island of confusion and a security nightmare if all “first ladies” operate like Mrs. Jonathan. It is no longer news that Patience, the wife of the President Jonathan, attended an event at Ocean View Restaurant on Adetokunbo Ademola Street, Victoria Island. For an orchestrated and ordinary

Got your car new number plate yet? things the organization was known for were being eroded. The unified number plates and the driver’s license were designed to be among the best in the world and indeed, they were at inception. In registering or re-registering each vehicle and licensing/re-licensing every driver, the FRSC was designed to use the information so gathered to provide a rich central data base of all vehicles and drivers in the country. This, it was envisaged, would in turn help the country in so many areas including tracking and apprehending criminals who might have been involved in road traffic offences/accidents or even robbery and assassinations where their driver’s license could give them out. This was the goal then and the FRSC was working towards its achievement until the Nigerian Factor came in. And this was revealed at the recent public hearing held on the new licensing regime by the House of Representatives. While responding to queries from the House committee on FRSC, the Corps Marshal and Chief Executive of FRSC said on assumption of office he sought a way of arresting the increasing rate of road crashes in the country caused mainly by drivers defiance of traffic rules/regulation; restoring the integrity of the licensing scheme, which had the data of drivers and motorists and; holding offenders responsible for their actions. A good licensing regime would no doubt, assist in achieving this. But what did he find out?

First the technology driving the existing licensing scheme was found not to be robust enough to take the scheme to the next level. Most important however was the effect the brief merger with the Police had on the scheme. The merger had caused total neglect of the scheme thereby increasing its vulnerability to counterfeiting. Of course this was good news for touts who were taking advantage of these lapses to maximum effect leading to significant loss in revenue to government. These were some of the reasons he gave for the introduction of the new licensing regime, reasons, which on the face value are strong enough to warrant a change in system. But then as pointed out by a colleague, if the immediate past management at the FRSC, particularly those in charge during the merger era had stuck to the founding principles and objectives behind the unified licensing scheme, the lasting decay in the system caused by that era would not have arisen, and if at all there would be changes now they would be minimal both in terms cost as well as disruption to our lives. This is a lesson to those in charge now, As rightly pointed out by the opponents of the new regime, the fee is rather exorbitant. But then this is not the fault of FRSC. Rather the States should be blamed for the high cost of procuring the new number plates and registering new vehicles. While the Joint Tax Board fixes the price and FRSC sells to states at N7500 per number plate, an additional N7500 is added by each state to take the price to N15000. In some states it is even costlier.

First lady and abuse of power By Alfred Isokari thank you visit to South-South women in Lagos for voting for her husband in 2011, she and her security goons made the lives of thousands of Lagosians struggling to make an honest living hell. Commuters, office workers and local and international business persons got stuck in hours of endless traffic and detours just because of one person-the wife of the President who was never on the ballot or voted for. What happened on Thursday is the height of executive insensitivity and a flagrant violation of our constitution. Nothing captures the anger of Lagosians like the exasperation of one business man whom I spoke with. Hear him out: “Everybody is boiling in Lagos. I am boiling right now. I cancelled four meetings today because I couldn’t get through traffic or people were running very late. Lagos and the economy loose millions just because the wife of somebody is here to thank South-south women. Not even to thank Nigerian women or launch a poverty alleviation programme? You can see the emptiness and vanity in government…” This development portends great dangers for our polity and tells a lot about the kind of country and government we have. If the wife of a president can be accorded such license, then we are in for a ride. Others who have direct links to the President can also simply appropriate such persons for personal aggrandizement, use it to muzzle political opponents and flagrantly violate the rights of ordinary citizens all in the name of the President.

We live in a country where those elected to govern us now rule Nigeria like a fiefdom, a sad throw back to the post independence era and the climate of dictatorship witnessed under the military. Consequently, they feel insecure and derive sadistic pleasure from making the people that voted for them suffer. The security phalanx thrown around Patience Goodluck and around Lagos was uncalled for and unjustifiable. We live in the same country but we operate different set of rules. For an event billed for noon, the President’s wife showed up almost four hours late. Four hours in which Lagosians suffered. The Oba of Lagos and titled chiefs were given noon appointments. Mrs. Jonathan never showed up till 3.30pm. For a woman who ordinary should not be in our faces everyday and who Nigerians never voted for, it is a great insult possible only under an imperial presidency like we have it in Nigeria. With Patience Jonathan, Nigerians are now saddled with two Presidents- one voted in, the other not voted for. With Patience, Nigerians must consider the late Maryam Babangida a saint. Though she commanded her own troop, she gave something in return. She also brought grace to her position and not brute force and naked display of power. And did I hear someone say Maryam brought some level of education and intellectual bent to what she was about. In contrast to what we now have on display, Nigerians know that they are in for a ride. In all of this, we must ask pertinent

Take the FCT for instance where it costs N29, 725 on average to register a vehicle. There are so many sundry charges added to arrive at this amount, but this is hardly the fault of the FRSC. Of course there were questions raised about the powers of the Federal Road Safety Corps to produce driver’s license and vehicle number plates in a federation like ours. This seems to have been settled by the expert opinion given to the House Committee by the Nigerian Bar Association (NBA) which through its president Joseph Daodu (SAN) said its investigations have revealed no breach of the law by the FRSC in the design and production of vehicle number plates and driver’s license. The NBA affirmed that FRSC only performed the statutory responsibility conferred on it by sections 5 and 10 of the FRSC Act. As if the problem with public outcry over the new number plates is not enough, the Police have weighed in to claim that the FRSC has no power to issue the plates, arguing that such power be given to them instead. Of course this is nothing but day dreaming as the Senate which also held a public hearing on the matter bluntly refused and told the police and other agencies dissatisfied over the present arrangement to harmonise their positions with FRSC which has a more robust infrastructure. Even the argument that the FRSC was trying to make the VIOs redundant has been settled and all matters concerning the issue now should be settled in favour of the Corps, but then the FRSC should also rise up to the occasion. It can’t afford to fail. So if you haven’t got your new number plate now, you better go for it.

‘Even the argument that the FRSC was trying to make the VIOs redundant has been settled and all matters concerning the issue now should be settled in favour of the Corps, but then the FRSC should also rise up to the occasion. It can’t afford to fail’

questions and demand answers. It is time to head to the courts and seek out what the role and power limits of the wife of the President and albeit the wife of governors are within the constitution. And not just stop there-we must seek to enforce these provisions. Secondly, how much did the eight-hour naked show of power cost the tax payers? W e need to know. For the minders of Patience Jonathan, they insult our sensibilities and do her reputation and that of her husband great harm. That she will storm Lagos to just to thank South-south women for voting for her husband is laughable. More importantly, the last time I checked, Nigerians from every geo-political area voted for Jonathan Goodluck during the Presidential polls. Now we know that our country is being run on the basis of ethnicity. South-South Women thank you visit. Please! Pray what more should we expect? Nigerians are taking note and will decide for whom to cast their votes next time. That Thursday visit is a shame; it is detestable, unjustifiable and should be investigated. And Governor Fashola, when next such a grandiose visit is been planned, own up and tell it to their faces that you cannot guarantee that Lagosians will tolerate such an imposition and obstruction of their daily lives for someone they never voted for or hardly know.

‘We must ask pertinent questions and demand answers. It is time to head to the courts and seek out what the role and power limits of the wife of the President and albeit the wife of governors are within the constitution’







Tuesday, APRIL 17, 2012


* The Environment * Mortgage * Apartments * Security * Homes * Real Estate


•Dangote Ibese Cement Plant


Should cement importation continue? Manufacturers of cement in the country including Dangote Cement claim their products exceed local demand and as such there is no need for importation. But experts have faulted this claim, writes OKWY IROEGBU-CHIKEZIE.


HE argument for and against the continued importation of cement have continued even as stakeholders await government’s decision on it. While the local cement manufacturers claim they have met the local demand and even exceeded the bar, experts insist the claim should be verified before a ban on importation.

The Federal Government during the administration of President Olusegun Obasanjo came out with a policy on backward integration in cement production. The process started when 15 companies were issued import licences and given incentives. They were also asked to, within a given period, build their own local plants. But, unfortunately, not many of the companies were interested nor had the capacity to embark on local production of cement as they have since resorted to uncontrolled importation. Currently, only three companies (Lafarge WAPCO, Dangote Cement and Bua Cement) have taken up the challenge to locally produce cement and they claim to meet local production. Dangote said his organisation

has taken up the challenge to lead the way in the quest to make the nation self-reliant in cement production, regretting the nation is losing huge sums in foreign exchange to importation. He said: “ As an organisation, our desire is to ensure our country not only moves away from export of certain commodities, of which cement is one, but to strengthen the local production capacity to make her an exporting nation while increasing the nation’s foreign reserve. Dangote, who spoke through the Deputy Director, Operations, Ibese Cement Industry, Mr Vijay Khanna, said the Dangote Group combined capacity, which is in excess of 20 million metric tonnes has exceeded the national demand, which range between 19 and 20 million metric tonnes yearly. He said: “Last year, the national demand was 17.5 metric tonnes and this year it hovers between 19 and 20 metric tonnes. As an organisation, the total capacity available with us is enough to take care of the cement need of the country not including the combined capacity of all the cement manufacturing industries in

•Commissioner debunks bias on road execution - PAGE 26

the country”. On fears entertained in certain quarters that the plant may have run into some technical hitch and not produce to anticipated capacity, Khanna said nothing can be far from the truth as the cement plant is barely two months old and operating above 95 per cent. He further explained that the plant has 12 machines with each producing 28,800 bags and 10 bulk trucks per day. He reiterated his earlier position suggesting that the government ban future importation of cement to conserve scarce resources, sustain the local industries and create jobs for the teeming population. On challenges faced by the company, he saidit is electricity as huge sums of money is spent on generating electricity round the clock for the cement plant. But, the National Publicity Secretary of Nigeria Institute of Building (NIOB), Mr. KunleAwobodu advised the government to ascertain the readiness of local manufacturers to satisfy local demand in concrete terms before stopping importation. He said: “Government should investigate thoroughly the claims of local manufacturers to satisfy local

demand before accepting to stop importation. The capacity to continuously supply cement to the market and not at intermittent stages should be verified in the interest of the public”. Awobodu said if indeed local manufacturers have attained 20 million metric tonnes in combined capacity against the national annual demand of 18 million metric tonnes. The price should have naturally come down. He canvassed that the nation should not be in a hurry to stop importation until there is stable supply of the product. His words: “It is a great irony that despite the claims of local capacity utilisation in the manufacture of cement, the price of cement has not come down. Currently, there is nothing to be proud of in the sector. The government should be careful not to jump into hasty decision; they should give sufficient time to prove the production ability of the local production. It is difficult to judge or evaluate sufficiently the production capacity during the rainy season because naturally demand is low “. According to him, operators in the

•’Why climate change affects our lives’ - PAGE 39

sector believe that the reason for the high cost is as a result of the scarcity of the product and are of the opinion that pricing should be a determinant factor in measuring availability and by extension influence a change in policy. While commending government’s backward integration policy, he called for caution before discontinuing with the policy. Vice-President, Association of Town Planners Consultants of Nigeria (ATOPCON), Mr Moses Ogunleye said the veracity of Dangote’s claim should be ascertained and if found to be true the government will have no option but to stop the importation of cement into the country to conserve scarce resources. He said: “Currently there is, however, no evidence of capacity utilsation as the price of the product is still high at N1, 800N2,000 depending on the location. l believe that pricing is a function of availability, it is ironical that imported cement are cheaper than the ones produced locally.”

•Flood: Residents plead with Ogun - PAGE 40




Commissioner debunks bias on road execution L

AGOS State Commisioner for Works and Infrastructure, Dr Kadri Obafemi Hamzat, has described as unfounded allegations the stories making rounds that the road construction and development agenda of the administration favours some localities over others. The Commissioner disclosed this while responding to claims that the projects being executed by his Ministry is skewed in favour of Lekki-Ajah axis. He noted that the choice of project is determined by such factors as population and traffic count and not on parochial or mundane sentiments. Hamzat noted that projects across the state takes cognisance

By Okwy Iroegbu-Chikezie Asst. Editor

of the need of each community as well as the overall development of the state, adding that an overall evaluation shows communities benefit from different government’s projects depending on established needs. Hamzat, who declared that the allegation of the concentration in a particular axis is an unfounded statement also said the “ignored” communities have more projects than the favoured ones based on available statistics. He emphasised that the road projects are designed to serve as a strategic by-pass for motorists, which when completed will raise the property value in such areas

as well as improve the standard of living of the people and enhance interaction. Also commenting on government’s plans to construct seven pedestrian bridges across the state, the Commissioner said the plan is to ensure the preservation of lives. He added that the choice of the sevenlocation is based on the available funds and the needs of the areas. He listed the affected bus-stops to include Cement Bus Stop, Ijaiye ,Iddo, Loco, Igbobi, Ile- Epo and Secretariat Bus-Stops. The commissioner said the ongoing reconstruction of Lagos- Ibadan expressway has denied the Berger point of the one initially planned for it. On bridges, Hamzat noted that

the rehabilitation of the expansion joints of bridges around Lagos namely, Carter Bridge, Eko Bridge, Oke-Afa/Agbe Bridge, Dopemu Bridge, Iyana-Ipaja Bridge, Alhaji Masha Road Bridges and Itolowo Bridge, have also been awarded by the State Government. On why bridges are being constructed on federal roads, he explained that above all, the State Government considers it her responsibility to protect lives in spite of the outstanding refund owed the state by the government. According to the Commissioner, the open space housing a series of offices or serving annexes and public car park is also up for redevelopment into a multi-agency building that

will add to the available office space at the secretariat in Alausa. He said that the multiagency building will enhance the inter MDA’s networking, improve delivery as well as reduce huge resources being expended on rented spaces for these agencies. The Commissioner described the project as a three in one assemblage that consists of the following features; two floors parking area, parking space for 600 vehicles, elevators, stairways, gym, restaurants/ canteens, conference areas, waiting areas and three structures having pedestrians interlinks. He also added that at the end of Phase One, the car park facility would be available for partial use.

FCTA gets new land policy


•Dominion Court Estate

N400m Dominion Court Estate makes debut in Igando I GANDO, a suburb in Alimosho Local Government area of Lagos State, is hosting a unique and aesthetically designed estate billed to be delivered next month at N400 million. The 2,750 square metre land size developed by Belmont Properties Limited has four blocks of three bedroom each with 24 flats. The flats have a unique feature of incorporating balconies in all the rooms including the boy’s quarter. Speaking on uniqueness of the flats, the Managing Director, of the company, Mr TokunboAdeyemi said he brought in his American experience in real estate development and design to bear on the middle

By Okwy Iroegbu-Chikezie Asst. Editor

class estate. He said they took the option of flats as against bungalows or duplexes on the belief that housing shortage is more in the middle to low income bracket. In addition he explained that they are also targeting Nigerians in diaspora who are most likely to have short stay in the country yearly and can safely live their flats for months without it being noticed by intruders.

On the cost, he said it is between N13 to N16 million Naira due to the differential on the size of the flats. Adeyemi said people have the option of paying 30 per cent under a flexible payment plan in addition to a convenient mortgage plan. On the facilities and infrastructure available, he said the flats have fitted kitchen, French window water proof doors for the bathroom, recreation areas for children, dedicated transformer, water and waste management services. The Belmont Properties Limited boss said the estate have green areas with trees and flowers in places that are not parking areas.

O ensure speedy provision of basic engineering infrastructure to the Federal Capital City, Abuja, the FCT Administration has formalised a new policy called “land for infrastructure swap model”. The FCT Minister, Senator Bala Mohammed, said the FCT Executive Committee has backed the new policy and that the Economic Management Team (EMT) in its meeting at the Council Chambers on April 3, also supported the policy. The Minister revealed that this initiative of the FCT Administration is for the development of districts in Phase IV of the Federal Capital City, using the FCT land as resource for infrastructure development. Mohammed further revealed that the new policy which is tagged “Phase IV Transformation Agenda Project” is a real property development framework in which the FCT Administration is collaborating with private sector, to deliver qualitative houses with primary infrastructure in identified Greenfield districts in line with the government’s transformation agenda. According to him, the FCT Administration, using its normal powers under the Land Use Act, will grant land to investors for real property development; adding that in exchange, the investor is to provide specified infrastructure in the affected district. He also disclosed that a Framework had already been developed to ensure effective delivery of the project within the transformation period and to

From Bukola Amusan, Abuja

avoid any land speculation, land freezing and distortion of the Abuja Master Plan during the implementation of the scheme. The minister reiterated that part of the framework is a request for a comprehensive business plan to show the technical competence, financial capability and managerial skill of the developer as well as the methodology for the comprehensive development of a district. His words that ‘a stipulation that 15 per cent of the total project cost will be transferred into project account before the Agreement commences as well as a provision that sale of real property in the district will not be allowed until the developer achieve 35 percent of infrastructure works’ would ensure effective delivery of the districts. The minister restated that the execution of works shall be in strict compliance with the scope, specifications and standard of works issued by the Federal Capital Development Authority (FCDA). Mohammed emphasised that the FCT Administration has already commenced the experimentation of the policy of land for infrastructure model with a pilot project in which Messrs Plethora Realty and Facility Managers Limited was granted 222-hectare of land in Caraway Dallas District. Under this arrangement, the company is to provide an integrated infrastructure worth N26 billion in the Caraway Dallas District, he added.

Total Aluminium inaugurates Abuja factory


O strengthen its northern operations, Total Aluminium Systems Limited, the authorised representative of SUNSTONE, one of the leading stone chip coated roof brands in Nigeria, has inaugurated its Abuja factory. The decision to open the factory, which is built on two hectares of land, is in response to the yearnings of the consumers, especially northern distributors and other trade partners who have for years been urging the company to site a factory in the area to enhance easy access to the products. In his remarks at the event, the

Chief Executive Officer of the company, Chief Frank Owelle, stated that; “As a corporate organisation, Total Aluminum Systems Limited regards feedbacks from trade partners as an important factor required for growth. What Nigerians will be witnessing in the northern aluminum market, with the opening of our new factory is a product of years of marketing research and survey. With the factory fully on ground, the fear of not having access to aluminum products will be a thing of the past,” Owelle also stated that the company is refocusing the northern market as it has concluded ar-

rangement to site a sister company; North South Aluminium Company in Kano to complement what would be coming out of the Abuja factory. She said the company has spent millions of naira on importation of machineries and sourcing of manpower from both local and foreign markets to modernise the factory and raise it to international standard. As part of the ways to make the factory, which is located in Karu, an outskirt of the city, conducive for workers, he indicated that a staff quarter, which can accommodate 65 per cent of the work force has been built within the

place. Earlier, in his speech the Managing Director, has stated that the new factory would provide direct and indirect employment to between 200 and 250 people. On the impact the factory will have on the nation’s economy, he said: “In line with the transformation agenda of President Goodluck Jonathan’s administration and his vision 2020 dream, the opening of an Abuja factory for our company will complement the government drive to fix the country’s infrastructural challenges.” A director of the company, Mr Leo Nwalozie, said roofing

sheets with ‘twin capillary groove’ that will henceforth be offered by the company is unique in the nation’s real estate industry as it would help builders forestall leakages. Explaining the capacity of the machinery, a foreign technical partner, Mr Hong Li Quan, said: “It is unique in the sense that it produces roofing sheet from 0.4 tick above, adding that in line with the demand of the management, it was specially designed to meet the specification of the Standards Organisation of Nigeria (SON), in its quest to wipe out substandard roofing product from the country.



My style of practice: ‘Look here, let’s get it over and done with.’ You are just postponing the evil days if you try to delay cases. Whether you like it or not, the judge is forming an impression if you are clearly the one delaying the case



• Sanusi

• Senate President David Mark

Wanted: Laws on cashless economy The Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) has introduced a new policy on cash-based transactions, which stipulates a “cashhandling charge” on daily cash withdrawals or deposits that exceed N500,000 for individuals and N3 million for corporate bodies. The policy will mean an increase in the use of technology in financial transactions. However, considering the dangers associated with internet-based technologies, there are fears that the legal framework needs to be strengthened to protect consumers against fraud, losses and undue charges. Some lawyers think specific laws are needed to back the policy. ERIC IKHILAE, JOSEPH JIBUEZE and PRECIOUS IGBONWELUNDU sought their views.


HE Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) has effectively ended the regime of limitless cash withdrawals from banks under its monetary policy aimed at reducing the money in circulation. The pilot scheme has begun in Lagos. It is known as ‘cashless’ policy. In some countries operating the system, the policy is called ‘mobile wallet’, which is an alternative payment method that allows a consumer to use mobile phone to pay for a wide range of services. According to the CBN, the cash-less system became necessary to promote the use of electronic means of transaction aimed at making Nigeria a cashless economy. It said the policy is to reduce the dominance of cash in the economy with the attendant cost implications for cash management in the banking industry; enhance securityand and stem money laundering, among others.

Effective from June 1, daily cumulative withdrawals and lodgments in banks by individuals would be limited to N500,000, while those by corporate customers is pegged at N3 million. Transactions above the fixed amount would attract special charges. The new cash policy was introduced for a number of reasons, including: • To drive development and modernisation of Nigeria’s payment system in line with Vision 2020 goal of being amongst the top 20 economies by 2020. • To reduce the cost of banking services (including cost of credit) and drive financial inclusion by providing more efficient transaction options and greater reach. • To improve the effectiveness of monetary policy in managing inflation and driving economic growth. In addition, the policy aims to curb some of the negative

Inside: ‘Maintenance of law and order ... - P.29

consequences of high usage of cash, including high cost of handling (estimated to be about N192 billion this year), high risk of usage and high subsidy. However, as full implementation of penalty charges on deposit and withdrawal limits draws near, the various echannels and applications like Automated Teller Machines (ATM), Point-of-Sale (PoS) terminals and mobile banking platforms that are supposed to facilitate electronic transactions have remained largely deficient. There are still fears that ATMs and PoSs are yet to attain the desired efficiency to drive a cashless economy, maintain a working network and constant connectivity. There have been complaints that sufficient facilities have not been provided to make the system smooth. The e•See story on page 28

Odinkalu’s police invitation: Clearing the air- P.31



LAW COVER CONT’D • Continued from page 27 payment system is said by many who have tried to use it to be filled with hitches. Sometimes, one is charged for service not successfully rendered. There are, therefore, fears of possible loss of money through fraud. Then the poser: How would the market women and other small business owners who are longaccustomed to cash transactions, smoothly transit to the new policy by June? Meanwhile, information security experts have said the infrastructure supporting the cash-less system may be 60 per cent vulnerable to fraud. This, according to them, is because the system is only 40 per cent protected as only one per cent of the operators involved has attained the Payment Card Industry Data Security Standard certification (PCI DSS). PCI DSS is an information security standard for organisations that handle card holders’ information for major debit, credit, prepaid, epurse, ATM and PoS cards. Digital Encode Director Mr Adewale Obadare said: “From the information security readiness perspective, I will say that the cashless scheme is only about 40 per cent secured against rising cyber fraud on other channels beyond the cards. “That is why operators need to do the PCI DSS certification because, in doing it, they will be giving the public the assurance that transactions via their networks are safe.” An official of Control Case, a United States based Qualified Security Assessor for PCI DSS, Mr Afy Merchant, agreed that 60 per cent of the cash-less system might be vulnerable. He, however, said it was better to stand by a 50:50 ratio because the cash-less initiative was new in Nigeria. While modern day business is all about electronic transactions, experts are of the view that cyber laws, as well as those governing epayment, which will protect users of the technology in the cash-less policy, are needed. They said there is the need for controls and firmness of the laws on the industry and the electronic deals. Director, Middle East and Africa, Fico (an IT fraud solutions firm), Mr Robin Findlay, said Nigeria


•Point of Sale terminal

Wanted: Laws on cashless economy must pass cyber laws to maintain cyberspace integrity and protect consumers in the cash-less system. “Each country has its cyber laws to protect online transactions, which also include online financial transactions. But as countries continue to come up with regulatory laws, the better it is for our economies. “To maintain Nigeria’s integrity in the cyberspace, there is the need for the country to put cyber-crime laws in place. “Banks should have a fraud detective department and should invest heavily in it,” he added. CBN Governor Sanusi Lamido Sanusi recently gave an indication that the CBN intends to push for the enactment of four bills by the National Assembly to tighten financial sector regulations. They are the Electronic Transaction Bill, the Financial Ombudsman Bill, the Nigerian International Financial Centre (NIFC) Bill, and the Alternative Dispute Resolution (ADR) Regulatory Commission Bill. Sanusi said the Electronic Transaction Bill, if passed into law, would give effect to the admission in evidence of all electronicallygenerated statements of account which the Evidence Act currently forbids. The Financial Ombudsman Bill, he said, aims to facilitate faster resolution of financial disputes,

while the Alternative Dispute Resolution (ADR) Regulatory Commission Bill is proposed to create an ADR Commission to promote and regulate the practice and use of ADR in Nigeria. Sanusi said through what he called the Shared Services Initiatives, the number of ATMs is expected to increase, which should reduce the cost of operations and promote a cash-less society. Lawyers are also of the view that the legal framework needs to be strengthened. A Senior Advocate of Nigeria (SAN), Dr Joseph Nwobike, said: “The current legal regime is clearly inadequate to regulate e-commerce transactions in Nigeria. “It is also understandable that the cash-less policy can be implemented without the need for a specific penal legislation for the purpose. “However, I believe that there a number of legislation that can be applied to punish offenders. “What the Central Bank should put in place is the mechanism which would assist law enforcement agencies to track and secure the conviction of those who commit offences using the platform. A lawyer, Mr Nojim Tairu, said existing laws are inadequate to protect consumers. “As with most innovations in the world, we are barely tagging along

in all respects on the e-payment system. There are presently no direct legal instruments to meet all aspects of the situations that are bound to arise from the cash-less policy. “Existing law of contracts, torts and criminal law would simply be inadequate in the circumstance even if they are stretched to apply to the novel context that the cashless policy has introduced. “Nigeria will have to fashion out a fresh set of legislations based on the practical legal experiences, precedents in other climes and jurisdictions. But the moral is the need to be proactive rather than reactive as a nation.” For another lawyer, Richard Nduka Chukwuocha, the penal law is not enough to protect customers in the cash-less regime His words: “Imagine Nigeria without cash; a nation where almost every financial business transaction is done without cash. Such ways may include online banking, direct deposits, automated teller machines, debit cards, smart cards, etc. “There is a high tendency for a cash-less economy to rely on information technology. Turning Nigeria into a cash-less economy has its advantages and disadvantages for the economy.” He went on: “In relation to theft, it will, to a large extent, act as security in protecting people’s

money. However, many Nigerians are still afraid to use, for instance, the ATM because the security features are not enough, as yet, to prevent theft. “The Penal Law in Nigeria is not adequate to protect customers in the cash-less regime. The reason is not farfetched. “With the advent of computer age, legislatures are struggling to redefine penal laws to cope with the menace of cyber-crimes and Nigeria is not an exception. “Nigeria needs to enact laws targeting cyber-crimes, as the traditional penal laws such as the Criminal Code and the Penal Code are not adequate to tackle the everevolving crimes associated with the computer.” Chukwuocha added:“Amendments to our criminal statutes are unavoidable if the cash-less economy is to record resounding success. But as the penal law stands today, it is my opinion that Nigeria does not have an enabling legal framework for a successful cash-less economy.” Executive Director, Social and Economic Rights Action (SERAC), Dr Felix Morka, a lawyer, questioned CBN’s powers to set withdrawal limits. He argued that deep thinking did not go into making the policy. He said: “I don’t think the CBN has invested time and energy in researching and analysing the consequences of the policy. “As far as legal position is concerned, I think it is very arguable that the CBN is going beyond its regulatory powers given to it by law to dictate how much money an individual has access to, and how much he/she can place in the bank. “When I have an account with a bank, I have a contract with it. I should be able to retrieve my money on demand. “I think that, overall, the CBN needs to think more critically about staying within the confines of its authority and its role as the apex bank without limiting my own rights and liberties as a citizen. “The policy was announced without a lot of thinking and planning. That is why there have been controversies over it even before it’s implemented. They are beginning to realise they didn’t think it through. “I think that policy is very consistent with the way we do government business in this country, we act first before thinking.”

Funding the judiciary under the 1999 Constitution: Matters arising


IGERIA practises constitutional de mocracy. The three arms of govern ment – the Legislature, the Executive and the Judiciary – are creatures of the Constitution. Powers are constitutionally assigned to them with checks and balances on one another. Theoretically, the three arms are equal partners, but in practice, the Judiciary appears to be the weakest as it neither controls sword nor purse. The Legislature controls the sword while the Executive controls the purse. The Judiciary, more often than not, is treated as a government agency or parastatal and not an independent co– equal branch of government. The object of this paper is to examine the vexed issue of funding of the Judiciary under the 1999 Constitution. It attempts to look at the different sources of funding various courts as provided for under the Constitution and the role of the National judicial Council (NJC) in that regard. It is regrettable that, 12 years into the practice of constitutional democracy in Nigeria, the issue of funding of the Judiciary still remains intractable. Categories of Courts for Purposes of Funding Funding of courts in Nigeria is, essentially, a constitutional matter. The 1999 Constitution of Nigeria is designed in a way to secure fiscal autonomy for the Judiciary. Without stating it directly, it is obvious that the framers of the Constitution intended that the Judiciary be fiscally autonomous. The provisions of the Constitution on fiscal autonomy of the Judiciary are clear, plain,

By Justice Alaba Omolaye-Ajileye

simple and straight-forward. They need no interpretation but application. For purposes of funding, courts in Nigeria can, in broad terms, be categorised into two: (a) Superior courts of record and (b) Other courts. This categorisation is simply in accordance with the provisions of Section Six of the Constitution, but it is relevant for a proper appreciation of this subject. Superior courts of record, as specified by the Constitution, consist of the Supreme Court of Nigeria, the Court of Appeal, the Federal High Court, the National Industrial Court, the High Court of the Federal Capital Territory, Abuja, a High Court of a State, the Sharia Court of the Federal Capital Territory, Abuja, the Sharia Court of Appeal of a State, the Customary Court of Appeal of the Federal Capital Territory, Abuja and the Customary Court of Appeal of a State. In the category of “other courts” are courts established by the National Assembly or any House of Assembly not listed under Section 6 (5) of the Constitution, with subordinate jurisdiction to the High Court. Until the recent amendment of the 1999 Constitution, the National Industrial Court belonged to the category of “other courts”. Others in this category include, Magistrate Courts, Sharia Courts, Customary Courts, Upper Area Courts e.t.c. Sources of Funding The Constitution prescribes three sources

by which the Judiciary shall be funded. They are, through: a) The Consolidated Revenue Fund of the Federation. b) The Consolidated Revenue Fund of the State and c) The Federation Account. The Consolidated Revenue Fund of the Federation Section (80) (1) of the Constitution establishes the Consolidated Fund of the Federation, where all revenues or other moneys raised and received by the Federation shall be paid into. Revenues or other moneys payable into any other public fund under the Constitution or any Act of the National Assembly are excluded from being paid into the fund. In specific terms, Section 80 (2) of the Constitution directs that no moneys shall be withdrawn from the Consolidated Revenue Fund of the Federation except to meet the expenditure that is charged upon the fund by the Constitution. It is significant to note here that, by virtue of the provisions of of Section 84 (2) and (4) of the Constitution, the remuneration, salaries and allowances payable to the following judicial officers are charged on the Consolidated Revenue Fund of the Federation: Chief Justice of Nigeria, Justices of the Supreme Court, President of Court of Appeal, Justices of the Court of Appeal, Chief Judge and Judges of the Federal High Court, President and Judges of the National Industrial Court, Chief Judge and Judges of the High Court of the Fed-

eral Capital Territory, Abuja. Chief Judge and judges of the High Court of a State, Grand Kadi and Kadis of the Sharia Court of Appeal of the Federal Capital Territory, Abuja, Grand Kadi and Kadis of the Sharia Court of Appeal of a state, President and Judges of the Customary Court of Appeal of the Federal Capital Territory, Abuja, President, and Judges of the Customary Court of Appeal of a state. This position received an authoritative pronouncement of the Supreme Court in A.G. Federation v. A.G. Abia State & Ors 9, where the court held: “It is the Consolidated Revenue Fund of the Federation and not the Federation Account that is charged with the salaries of Judicial Officers in the Federation.” It is pertinent to draw attention to a very salient point here; the Constitution, in addition to remuneration, salaries and allowances of judicial officers, makes provisions for the recurrent expenditure of their offices. This can be found in Section 84 (7) of the Constitution which provides: “The recurrent expenditure of judicial offices in the Federation (in addition to salaries and allowances of judicial officers mentioned in subsection (4) of this section) shall be a charge upon the Consolidated Revenue Fund of the Federation.” • Justice Omolaye-Ajileye is a judge of Kogi State High Court • To be continued




‘Maintenance of law and order our priority’


N the last three weeks, the commissioners in Lagos State have been giving reports of their work in the past year. Last Wednesday, it was the turn of the Lagos State Attorney-General and Commissioner for Justice Mr Ade Ipaye, to give account of his stewardship in the last one year to the people of the state, an excercise which coincided with the commemoration of the first year, second term in office of the Governor, Mr Babatunde Raji Fashola (SAN), at Bagaudo Kaltho Press Centre, Secretariat, Alausa, Ikeja. He said the administration accorded priority to the maintenance of law and order in view of the high population and the diversity of Lagosians. He said his ministry had maintained the tradition of Lagos being at the vanguard of rule of law, constitutionalism and good governance. He listed public law and improvement of the legal environment to promote economic activities as areas he made some contributions. A total of 17 statutes initiated by the executive were passed into law by the state House of Assembly. Notably, the Justice Ministry headed by Ipaye reviewed the Criminal Code brought into the country by the colonial masters since 1914. The outcome of that legislative reform is the newly introduced Lagos State Criminal Law 2011, the first review of the 98- year-old Criminal Code ever carried out in the country. The exercise was, no doubt, a novelty in the sense that some offences which hitherto criminal offences are now to be treated as civil matters. Obsolete offences including bigamy, sedition were deleted from the criminal code. New dimension crimes such as computer and electronic data misuse, hacking and other computer related frauds, money laundering, exam malpractices, unlawful conversion and fraudulent dealings in land, sexual offences, terrorism and kidnapping were addressed with greater details with appropriate penalties attached. It would no longer be a free day for randy men as the new Lagos State Criminal Law 2011 provided punitive measures for desertion of pregnant woman or girl. Most notable aspect of the reform of the criminal justice administration in the state is the introduction of the non-custodial sentences community service, probation and restitution, which

By Adebisi Onanuga

are expected to reduce prison congestion. Explaining how this initiative would work, the commissioner said: “When you are convicted, the judge may decide to sentence you to community service as an alternative to sending you to prison. In this case, you do this community service without pay and you would be monitored to ensure that you do the work for the specified duration and as ordered by the judge”. The commissioner for Justice said that government has secured the services of Community Service Officers to supervise those sentenced to such service and is also organising training workshops to build capacity of magistrates and related staff to implement the relevant provisions of the law. He said his ministry in collaboration with its Youth, Sports and Social Development counterpart, inspected several work places and found only 10 satisfactory for community service. The Law Reform Commission, which has been non-existent in the last 20 years was also constituted and inaugurated. It has as its Chairman, Justice Supo Shasore (SAN), a former Attorney-General and Commissioner for Justice and is saddled with reviewing all laws in the state and to bring up new legislative initiatives as may be necessary and as occasioned by developments in the society. The Directorate of Civil Litigation (DCL), which institutes and defends suits with government, ministries and its agencies, successfully concluded 35 cases in the high court. It, however, has 624 cases on-going in various courts on matters bothering on constitutional interpretations, land disputes, taxation, contracts, torts and general civil matters. It is also involved in the petitions pending before the Census Tribunal in which the state rejected the final result of the population censors conducted in 2006. It is said where suits are already in alternate dispute resolutions. “Sometimes, we enter into terms of agreement, which is taken back to court and delivered as judgement,” he said. Another important organ of the Justice Ministry is the Directorate of Public Prosecution(DPP). The Office of the DPP issues legal advice on investigation reports sent in by the police and pros-

• Ipaye

ecutes criminal cases on behalf of governments in the courts. During the period under review, the Office of the DPP completed and obtained judgements in 52 cases while it had 556 on-going at the High Courts. The office, which response time is put at 60 per cent, issued 779 pieces of legal advice as against 550 in the preceding year. A breakdown of the figure showed that 106 cases are on fatal motor accidents, 114 cases on homicide or murder, 158 cases on armed robbery and conspiracy and 148 cases on other minor offences. The DPP also has 84 appeals pending in the Court of Appeal (ten judgements already delivered) and two cases in the Supreme Court. The Justice commissioner disclosed that the Office of the Public Defender(OPD) during the period under review, handled 1,812

petitions on criminal, child abuse, domestic violence, breach of contract, compensation/monetary among other matters. He said the OPD performed well in enforcing the Fundamental Human Right of the people of the state through collaboration with legal consortium and the National Human Right Commission in filling a joint suit for 300 inmates awaiting trial in various high courts in the state while it secured the release of 646 persons unlawfully arrested for various offences in police stations all over the state. The OPD, he said, introduced the Special Victim Unit (SVU) into its operations where traumatised victims of child abuse and domestic violence could relax, give account of their experience and vital and useful information that would assist in the investigation of their case. It

was in recognition of its various services to the public and activities that the department received so many awards from corporate institutions such as the Police, civil societies and NGOs and of late from UNICEF, MEDIACON and PROJECT ALERT. The Citizens Mediation Centre (CMC) established to employ alternate dispute resolution mechanisms, such as mediation, among Lagos residents. The centre, which is composed of majorly of trained mediators, who are also lawyers, mediate on issues such as landlord/tenants, debt recovery, employee/employers, family disagreement, child custody issues and other small claims. During the period under review, the justice commissioner said that the CMC received a total of 15,939 cases and resolved 7,141 successfully. On the other hand, the Directorate for Citizen’ Right(DCR), a complaint and intervention centre which addresses issues of fundamental human rights infringements Though the Ministry of Justice is not a revenue-making ministry. In spite of this and through new initiatives, the state Justice ministry generated a total of N56,588,252.70 for the year under review, essentially from payment of agreement fees by contractors and from the activities of the Administrator General and Public Trustee. It is not all work in the Justice Ministry as there is always a reward for diligent workers. A total of 117 members of staff were promoted to the next cadre during the period under review, a breakdown of which showed that 108 were in the state counsel cadre, nine in various other cadres while 38 others on probation, had their appointments confirmed. Ipaye disclosed that in the coming year, his ministry would focus on improving the quality of staff and their output to ensure that they efficient and effective. He promised adequate security for the people of the state and for their businesses. “We continue to rely on the cooperation of other arms of government i.e., the judiciary and the legislature, federal agencies like the police and the Prison Services, and the people to ensure that Lagos remains safe and secure and the place of choice for living, doing business and visiting for relaxation,” he added.


Lawyers for conference


HE Commonwealth Lawyers Association (CLA) is set for its conference in Sydney, Australia. It will hold from April 19 - 22. A statement from its President, Mrs Boma Ozobia, said adequate and easy visa processing arrangements have been put in place to enable lawyers who wish to attend to obtain visa with ease. “We have made adequate


arrangements. The Australian High Commission is fully aware of the fact that we are participating. “They have in turn informed their Foreign Affairs Office of this. “From the Secretariat of the CLA, we are sending updated lists of the delegates to them. “This is so that once delegates have registered and paid up, and once we send applications in for their visas, they will be dealt with expeditiously,” she said.

Firm holds annual lecture

UNUKA Attorneys & Solici tors will on Tuesday, April 24, 2012, hold its Annual Lecture at the main hall of the Wheatbaker Hotel, Ikoyi, Lagos at 10 am. To lead discussions at the lecture, which has as its theme, “Making a Petroleum Based Economy an Engine for Growth: Realities of the resource curse” is the US Regional

Director of the Association of International Petroleum Negotiators (AIPN) and Partner at Dewey & LeBoeuf LLP, Houston, USA, Mr Steven Otillar. PUNUKA Attorneys and Solicitors is a firm reputed for its yearly lecture series on issues of contemporary importance to the development of the nation.

Agbakoba organises business expo


LISA Agbakoba and Asso ciates and Do-Sumthing Positive for Africa and Beverly & Sam Properties organises “Creative Business EXPO”on April 19 and 20 at Njoku Street, Ikoyi, Lagos. The event is expected to draw experts from all fields of life to give career talk on exciting business opportunities for the emerging creative entrepreneur. It will also afford them opportunities to network, market their products and services and

learn rudiments of business from leading experts on the new generation of entrepreneurs as they unleash their experiences within their respective field of works. It shall also feature exhibition show as companies such as Suchille Clothing, The style Boutique, Mona Matthews, Oge Coutre and many more shall exhibit their products. It is sponsored by Olisa Agbakoba & Associates, Morsi PR, and others.

Institute holds conference on oil and gas


HE Nigerian Institute of Advanced Legal Studies will hold a three-day international conference on oil and gas explorations, con-

tracts, and disputes resolution. Date: May 2-4, 2012. Venue: Benezia Hotel Asaba. Time: 9 am daily.

Federal High Court, institute hold aviation seminar


HE Federal High Court in col laboration with the McGill In stitute of Aviation Law Canada, is organising an aviation law seminar for judges of the Federal High Court April 16-17. Venue: Sheraton Hotel, Lagos. Time: 9 am. The aim of the seminar is to assist judges with the handling and management of aviation disputes and matters in order to enhance compliance and enforcement of aviation laws and regulation in order to ensure safety in the aviation sector of the economy. Those targeted at the seminar include judges of the Federal High Court, regulatory officers, aviation in- house counsel, lawyers and stakeholders in the aviation sector.




Ikeja NBA chair calls for Nigeria’s restructuring



• Lawyers get code of conduct for elections


HE Chairman, Nigeria Bar Association (NBA) Ikeja Branch Mr Adebamigbe Omole has suggested a restructuring of the country if it must move forward economically and politically. He said there are so many imbalances in the federal structure, adding that this was why it has failed the country. He stated this during a press conference at the Bar Centre at Ikeja to announce programmes for the Law Week of the branch entitled: The quest for true federalism in Nigeria: how attainable. He stressed that “the various agitations by the different ethnic nationalities and groups, such as the Arewa in the North, the Ohaneze in the Southeast, the Afenifere in the Southwest, the Ijaw in the Southsouth, the Niger Delta Militants, the Odua Peoples` Congress, the Movement for the Actualisation of Sovereign State of Biafra (MASOB), the dreaded Boko Haram indulgence, among others, with their divergent demands have brought to the front burner the need to take logistic look at our present political system and seewhether we can continue with the present system and still remain one indivisible country”. He noted that the country is at a crossroads and that the question that is agitating the mind of the average Nigerian is how to rework the country’s structure. He recalled that being a pluralist society, Nigeria at independence, adopted the federal system of government in which its units surrendered some of their autonomy in some matters. He said: “The incursion of the military in 1966 brought about a new system in which the federating units lost autonomy and became subservient to the central federal military government, thus the beginning of this unending journey of unitarism”. The NBA Ikeja branch‘s Law Week, which took off last Sunday with a church service, was followed yesterday with the opening ceremony at which the former governor of Lagos State, Asiwaju Bola Ahmed Tinubu, delivered a keynote address while the afternoon session featured Prof. Pat Utomi who spoke on the topic, Legal investment. The executive and other members of the branch will be visiting the Prisons in company of the Chief Judge of Lagos State, Justice Inumidun Enitan Akande, during which she is expected to release some of the inmates after looking at their case file and she is satisfied that they deserved to be par-

By Adebisi Onanuga

doned while the branch will tomorrow hold a Law Clinic at Ogba junction, Ikeja as part of its corporate social responsibility to the society during which free legal advice and services will be offered to the public. The bar will hold its variety evening same day. On Thursday, the third edition of Mr Alao Aka Bashorun, a yearly lecture will take place where Prof. Akin Oyebode of the University of Lagos will deliver the guest lecture while Mrs. Funke Adekoya and Mr Femi Falana will be the discussants of the lecture topic, “True Federalism as Panacea for sustainability of democracy in Nigeria”. The week will be rounded off on Friday with a Jumat Service at the Secretariat mosque at 2.00 p.m. and a dinner and an award ceremony in honour of the Chief Judge of Lagos State. The dinner will be chaired by the first woman Senior Advocate of Nigera(SAN), Chief Mrs. Folake Solanke while governors Rocha Okorocha, Ibikunle Amosun and Abiola Ajimobi of Imo, Ogun and Oyo states are special guests. Meanwhile, a Code of Conduct is to be rolled out to guide the conduct of the May 7, 2012 elections of the Nigerian Bar Association (NBA) Ikeja Branch and for future elections of the branch to ensure a free and fair exercise. The chairman of the three-man electoral committee set up for the coming elections, Mr Oladosu Ogunniyi, told The Nation that his committee and elders of the bar are not happy that most of the aspirants are going about their campaign in unethical manner not befitting lawyers. “We have set down some rules and we are preparing a code of conduct for future elections and some of these rules are going to guide the conduct of the forthcoming elections. “The elders met, the committee of elders, past chairmen and other senior lawyers in the branch, we met and we felt that these things should be put in check before it gets out of hand”, he said. He said the elders of the branch had met about three times to review developments in the branch with a view to charting a new course and listed some of those who attended the meeting to include some past chairmen of the branch, Chief Odunaiya, Mr Niyi Idowu, Mr B.A. Dawodu, Chief Bisi Ademuwagun, Deacon Dele Adesina (SAN), Mr Kunle Ojo and himself. The electoral committee chairman told The Nation that his com-

gabriel AMALU


• Omole

mittee is also working to ensure that the coming elections of the branch is free and fair, free of rancor and disorderliness in order for the outcome to be acceptable to all. “There were allegations in the past that elections were rigged, that people who are not lawyers were imported to vote. “So we are looking into that and there is need for stricter control and stringent rules to make the election free and fair. “This is a professional body. We are not in partisan politics, so we cannot behave like the political parties behave. We have code of conduct which we subscribe to as lawyers, there are ethical rules and we cannot go out of it to do things.” Meanwhile, a total of 18 lawyers have been nominated to contest the May 7, election of the NBA Ikeja Branch. Three of them, Samson Omodara, Agboola Olusegun and Segun Fatoki have been returned unopposed for the positions of Welfare Secretary, Assistant General Secretary and Financial Secretary. Three contestants, Niyi Akinmola, Monday Ubani and Yinka Farounbi, will lock horns for the chairmanship position of the branch. Other contestants include Adeniji Oguntuga and Adesina Ogunlana for First Vice-Chairman; Carolyn Ibeh and Leye Omitola for Second Vice Chairman; Emmanuel Otobo and Adesina Adegbite for the General Secretary position. Others are Titilayo Osagie and Gbenga Ajayi for the position of the Social Secretary; Nkechi Umeokechukwu and Nelly SilverAjalaye for Auditor; and Muna Esegene and Benjamin Arekameh for Publicity Secretary.

Man arraigned for alleged hacking


computer operator, Akpunonu Ikechukwudike, has been arraigned at the Chief Magistrate Court, Yaba, Lagos, for allegedly hacking into an account with Ekobank Nigeria Plc, Ahmadu Bello Way, Victoria Island. The police said he hacked into Okhai Akhigbe’s account through the internet “with intent to secure unauthorised access to any data held in any computer to the prejudice of Ekobank or any other person.” The alleged offence contravenes Section 385 of the Criminal Laws of Lagos State, No. 11, 2011. Ikechukwudike pleaded not guilty. Also, a 44-year-old man, Afolayinmi Peter, was arraigned at the same court for allegedly defrauding seven persons of N1.4million after promising to help

By Joseph Jibueze

them procure visas to Canada. The police said he committed the offence between July and September last year, He allegedly told his victims he was “in a position to procure traveling documents for them to Canada,” “a representation he knew to be false.” Those defrauded are Onyeagbo Peter (N220,000); Adesanya Tawino (N200,000); Alabi Olumuyiwa (N200,000); Adebayo Fabian (N200,000); Kehinde Adesanya (N220,000); Osho Owolabi (N200,000) and Shanumi Oluwatoyin (N200,000) The alleged offence contravenes Section 312 of the Criminal Code, Laws of Lagos State, 2011. Peter pleaded not guilty at his arraign-

ment. Similarly, a 45-year-old man, Joel Yakubu Mohammed was arraigned for alleged stealing and false pretence. He was said to have collected N200,000 on January 6 from Sandra Nwankwo through his Oceanic Bank account, numbered 0056072045, while pretending to help her secure a job with the Nigerian Immigration Service. The police said the defendant also promised to help Dada Paul secure a job with the Nigerian Defence Academy on January 9, collecting N200,000 from him through his Ekobank account, numbered 1661180237221001. The alleged offences contravene Section 312 (1) (9) of the Criminal Code, Cap 34, Vol. 44, Laws of Lagos State 2011. Mohammed pleaded not guilty.

Govs Sullivan Chime and Martin Elechi

HE wawa of the Igbo were in the news last week. That name wawa, is an amorphous description of the Igbo that lives in Enugu and Ebonyi states. A person who’s ‘No’ is spoken as ‘Wa’. Well, I confess, I am not an expert in the language and history of the wawa, so I won’t push it. But being farther north of the famous river Niger through which the Whiteman birthed in Igbo land in the late 19th century, they are derisively regarded as wawa, as they were less sophisticated than their folks that received the white man’s education earlier, and have also grown more materialistic in pursuit of the new acculturation. So Governors Sullivan Ihenacho Chime of Enugu and Martin Nwancho Elechi of Ebonyi states govern the wawas, and both Governors were in the news last week. Governor Sullivan celebrated his 53rd birthday, just as he was morning the death of his mother, the matriarch of the Chime family of Udi, with a strong pedigree in public service. Governor Chime has effectively discharged himself when the measure is on infrastructural development. Good roads, street lights, security, water, modern bus stops, public transport, and a host of others, are substantially in place in the Enugu metropolis. While in Enugu the weekend of Easter, to celebrate the traditional wedding of my niece, Wadunobu Okafor, I was enthralled by the smooth movement round the city as I reunited with my old pal Dr. Tagbo Agbata, consultant obstetrician and gynaecologist at the Federal Medical Centre, Abakaliki, as he and his dear wife made hugely successful effort to entertain me. Indeed, Governor Chime can be correctly compared to Governor Babatunde Fashola of Lagos State, in terms of transformational ability; and unlike his predecessor does not inundate the public with tales of how Enugu State is working, apologies to former Governor Chimaroke Nnamani. Interestingly, the media was not awash with celebratory and congratulatory messages for the Governor from government ministries, parastatals and agencies neither is the governor engaging in those meaningless billboard advertisements and self praise that has become the habit of governors who have nothing to offer. So, while I do not like some of Sullivan’s political actions and have criticised them in the past, I am proud to wish my governor many more years of public service to Enugu State and to Nigeria. I also extend my heartfelt condolences to him and the Chime family, on the passage of their mother; a worthy matriarch and wife of late Chief Chime, who represented Enugu meritoriously in the First Republic. Now flip the coin, Dr. Martin Elechi of Ebonyi State. Dr. Elechi on paper should have been a great Governor, having had great exposure in public service. His name ringed bell from the distant past. As one of the best educated men from the part of wawa that has the greatest challenge in human capital development, he rose fast in the civil service of old Anambra and Enugu states, before the creation of Ebonyi State. He was a former permanent secretary and secretary to the state government among several other achievements before his current job as Governor, winning his second of four years in 2011. While his performance has at best been mediocre, many did not take notice, as his state was tucked in the recess of national press watch being the least developed among the entire Igbo states. He obviously revel this development challenge as he prattle about nothing in the name of governance. Listening to him during the recent tragedy that befell his state when dozens of indigenes of the state were slaughtered by their neighbors; as the Ezillos and the Ezzas warred, I did not know whether to cry for the tragedy of his deficiencies or to cry for the tragedy of the human catastrophe. Now Governor Martin Elechi has exalted his inordinate celebration of mediocrity and incompetence. To the utter amazement of discerning Nigerians the Governor declared a public holiday last Thursday to celebrate his so called triumph at the election petition tribunals. Here you have a poor state, facing enormous development challenges calling on the entire state’s work force to stay at home to celebrate a call to work. What an irony. The joke though is that the Governor and the state civil servants are ordinarily redundant; so what difference does it make when there is official call to affirm the redundancy. But I think the Governor should be ashamed of this singular action. He should also look at item No. 51 in the Secound Shedule to the 1999 Constitution, as Public holidays is listed in the exclusive legislative list. Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala This lady whom I admire and have celebrated, among others, in a book, Service Above Self, for her enormous service to our dear country has been in the news for good. As you read this, she would have had her chance to explain to the Word Bank Group her plans to move that multilateral institution to help give the developing nations a better chance in the world economy. While successfully delivering on that possibility would be a tall order, as tall if not taller than stooping the haemorrhaging of our national economy by the several parasitic leaders in the legislative and executive arms of government; here is wishing her the best of luck. Whether she gets the job or not, Dr. Okonjo-Iweala has distinguished herself as a world class economist; as nobody will sincerely doubt her competence or her non-involvement in the racketeering as public service.




Odinkalu’s police invitation: Clearing the air Bamidele Aturu, who is counsel to Chairman of the Governing Council of the National Human Rights Commission (NHRC) Dr Chidi Anselm Odinkalu, explains in this statement the events leading to Odinkalu’s invitation by the police. The Background


N March 5, 2012, Dr. Odinkalu was keynote speaker at the yearly confer ence of the National Association of Judiciary Correspondents (NAJUC) in Abuja, Nigeria entitled: “Plea Bargaining and the Administration of Justice in Nigeria”. A copy of his 16-page paper at that conference is distributed with this statement. Page five of the presentation contains the following statement: “The response of law enforcement to the incapability of the legal system to ensure convictions is an epidemic of third-degree policing, torture and extra-judicial executions. By some estimates, the Police execute well over 2,500 detainees summarily every year.” By a letter to Dr. Odinkalu dated March 16, this year, the Acting Inspector-General of Police, Mohammed D. Abubakar, complained that Dr. Odinkalu had said the Police execute over 5,000 detainees summarily every year”, and that this “statement is viewed seriously by the Police High Command as vexatious, especially against the backdrop of its grave and negative implications on our national and corporate Image.” While not disputing that police personnel are, indeed, involved in a disturbing pattern of extra-judicial executions, the Acting Inspector-General in his letter said: “The assertion is highly exaggerated and, therefore, untrue”. He equally failed to provide any figures to contradict those provided by Dr. Odinkalu. Rather, the Acting Inspector-General requested Dr. Odinkalu to “provide evidence or facts to support your assertion, as well as verifiable statistics from which you made your ‘estimates.’” However, in a widely reported speech on February 13, this year, the Acting Inspector-General had publicly stated of the Nigeria Police Force (NPF): “Our antirobbery squads have become killer teams.” This letter arrived while Dr. Odinkalu was outside Nigeria, attending the proceedings of the 28th Ordinary Session of the African Court on Human and Peoples’ Rights in Arusha, Tanzania. Upon his return, on April 3, this year, Dr. Odinkalu responded in writing to the letter of the Acting Inspector-General of Police. The relevant part of his response reads as follows: “I enclose herewith , sir, a report, Criminal Force: Torture, Abuse and Extra-Judicial Killings by the Nigeria Police Force, issued in 2010 by the Network on Police Reform in Nigeria (NOPRIN) and the Open Society Justice Initiative. I refer in particular to the section headed “A Hopeless Task: Counting the Dead” on pages 61-63 of the document, together with the accompanying source notes at the end of the document. I will seek the IGP’s permission to quote extracts from page 62 of this document, sir: In April 2004, then Inspector-General of


HE Chartered Institute of Professional Printers of Ni geria (CIPPON) has urged the government to abide by the law establishing the institute when awarding printing contracts. The President/Chairman-inCouncil, Mr Wahab Muhammed Lawal, said the institute was established by an Act of Parliament, No. 24 of 2007. It is charged with the registration and licensing of printing houses in Nigeria. By virtue of the law, CIPPON said it is illegal to patronise unregistered printing firms by print buyers, be it government or private persons. Going by the letters of the Act, the institute can seal or also initiate arrest and prosecution of unregistered printing houses and print

• Odinkalu

• Abubakar

• Aturu

Police, Tafa Balogun, informed Human Rights Watch researchers that the NPF killed 7,198 “armed robbers” from January 2000 to March 2004. This represents an average official killing rate of 141.1 or an average daily killing rate of about 4.6 persons per day. For the same period, however, Balogun’s successor, Sunday Ehindero, reported much different statistics in a July 2006 letter to the UN Special Rapporteur on Extra-judicial, Summary or Arbitrary Executions. In this letter, Ehindero, claimed that in the five years from 2000-2004, the Nigeria Police Force killed 2,402 and arrested another 20,314 “armed robbers”, representing an inexplicable difference of 4,796 killings between Balogun’s figures and Ehindero’s…In 2004 alone, the Legal Defence and Aid Project (LEDAP) documented 2,987 cases of extrajudicial executions by law enforcement agencies. This is roughly consistent with the most recent official police claims. In November 2007, Acting Inspector-General Mike Okiro reported that the police had killed 785 and arrested 1,628 “armed robbers” in his first 100 days as IGP. This translates into a daily killing rate of 7.85 persons and a yearly rate of 2,865 police killings. Okiro’s figures also represent a kill-to-arrest ratio of 1:2.07. In comparison to the statistics announced by former Inspector-General Ehindero in 2000 (sic), Okiro’s data represent an increase of over 400 per cent in the official statistics for police killings. The inconsistencies in the official figures strongly suggest that deaths in police custody or encounters are not addressed with sufficient gravity and that records of such deaths are either nonexistent or very poorly kept. You may note, sir, that most of these figures and comparisons, are based on figures that were released by some of your esteemed predecessors in office. I am respectfully attaching this publication for the attention of the Inspector-General because, although published well before your assumption of your current office, most of the issues and recommendations contained in it

are still relevant to our current situation.”

through this encounter to offer partnership to the leadership of the NPF in investigating and methodically addressing the admitted problem of extra-judicial killings in Nigeria with independent facilitation from the Office of the United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights (OHCHR) and the African Commission on Human and Peoples’ Rights and looks forward to working constructively with them on this. In accordance with his entitlements under law, Dr. Odinkalu has instructed lawyers who will be vigilant in defence of his personal rights during the encounter with the Police.

Concerning the invitation to Police interrogation After the close of work on Thursday, April 12, 2012, Dr. Odinkalu first learnt from the media and through inquiries from concerned colleagues and friends, that he had been invited for interrogation by the Deputy Inspector-General of Police, ‘D’ Department responsible for the Force Criminal Investigation Department in connection with police investigation into a “complaint of Damaging Remarks allegedly made by the Chairman, Governing Council of the NHRC against the Nigeria Police Force.” The interrogation was reportedly to take place on April 13, 2012. On April 13, Dr. Odinkalu wrote to the Inspector-General of Police seeking formal confirmation of the existence of an invitation to interrogate him by the police as alleged and offering, if this was the case, to arrange mutually convenient scheduling for such a meeting. In its response dated the same day and signed by Deputy Commissioner of Police, Dan Bature and headed “RE: INVITATION TO INTERROGATION BY THE FCID”, the NPF confirmed “that, indeed, there was such an invitation” and “re-invited” Dr. Odinkalu to be interrogated on Monday, April 16, 2012 at the office of the Deputy Inspector-General of Police, ‘D’ Department, Force Headquarters, Abuja. However, because of a scheduling conflict with a medical appointment on the same day, Dr. Odinkalu will be reverting to the Police authorities to seek a re-scheduling of this encounter by not more than 48 hours. As a law-abiding patriot, Dr. Odinkalu proposes to show leadership, good example and respect to the institution and men and women of the NPF by honouring the request by the NPF despite the absence of justification for it. He seeks equal and similar respect from the NPF for the statutory responsibilities of Nigeria’s NHRC. Dr. Odinkalu proposes

The independence of the National Human Rights Commission The National Human Rights Commission (Amendment) Act, 2011, empowers the NHRC to, among other things, monitor all places of detention and the conduct of law enforcement agencies, including the NPF. It is our advice to Dr. Odinkalu that a statement on extra-judicial killings is firmly within the ambit of his statutory responsibilities as Chairman of the Governing Council of the NHRC. The Commission can only function legitimately if it is truly independent and responsible and seen to be so. The fact that its position or that of any of its officers is considered vexatious, damaging and a trigger for a criminal interrogation by the NPF clearly misapprehends its mission and undermines its independence. We do not believe, however, that the hierarchy of the NPF would seek to intimidate a fraternal institution like the NHRC. A National Human Rights Institution that cannot with a clear conscience call attention to extra-judicial executions, especially on the scale that it occurs in Nigeria is simply not fit for purpose. The statements made by Dr. Odinkalu were based on findings already in the public domain. It is up to the Police to controvert them with credible facts if they have them.

Institute urges govt to obey law By Joseph Jibueze

buyers who give printing jobs to non-professionals. CIPPON said the government, therefore, cannot afford to ignore the provisions of the Act. The Federal Executive Council had on April 11 approved the request by the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) to produce 40 million permanent voter cards for N2.6billion at N65 each. The contract, with a delivery period of seven months, was awarded to Messrs ACT Technologies Limited. A statement by the institute,

signed by Lawal, said: “While the CIPPON Chairman-in-Council wish to identify with the laudable policy of the Federal Government, the company that was awarded this contract is not a registered licensed printing house in Nigeria by the institute, the body charged with the responsibility of registration and licensing of printing houses in Nigeria, as provided for in the Act of Parliament No. 24 of 2007. “The CIPPON Chairman hopes that this printing contract will not be taken abroad to print, as this will defeat the primary objective of ‘job creation programme’ by the federal government. “The institute has licensed secu-

rity printing houses in Nigeria that can handle jobs like permanent voters cards, such as the Nigerian Security Printing and Minting Plc, Academy Press, Super Flux International Ltd, Tripple Gee and Company Plc and others. “The institute appreciates the Federal Government for listening to its professional advice and taking bold step to create employment through printing by local patronage. “The institute shall take responsibility to address any challenges that may be hindering patronage to registered licensed printing houses in Nigeria if highlighted by print buyers, governments, its agencies, book publishers, etc.”

• Lawal




• Chairman NBA Committee on the Review of the Performance of Election Petition Tribunals, Chief Augustin Alegeh (SAN), Comrade Adams Oshiomhole of Edo State and NBA President, Joseph Bodunrin Daudu (SAN)

• Lateef Fagbemi (SAN) left and Mr Gbenga Ojo

• From left: Prof Deji Adekunle, Gbolahan Gbadamosi and National Publicity Secretary NBA, Emeka Obegolu

• Dele Adesina (SAN) left and former President NBA, Chief Wole Olanipekun (SAN)

• Mrs Nella Andem Rabana (SAN) and J.S. Okutepa (SAN)

• From left: Asst. National Financial Secretary NBA, Chinw Nwadike, Precious Oham Emeka and National Legal Adviser NBA, Victor Nwaugo

•Okey Wali (SAN) and Lady Debby Obodoukwu

• Ferdinand Orbih (SAN) left and Sir Alfred Eghobamien (SAN)

• From left: Paul Kasim and Welfare Officer NBA, Sule Usman

• O. Theophilus (left) and T.S. Shankyula.





• From left: Chief Adegboyega Awomolo (SAN), former President NBA, Chief Wole Olanipekun (SAN), NBA National Publicity Secretary, Emeka Obegolu (standing) and NBA President J.B. Daudu (SAN)

• From left: Dr. Pascal Oguno, President Commonwealth Lawayers Association, Boma Ozobia and former President, Ikorodu branch, Nurudeen Ogbara

• From left: Edward Aibangbe, NBA General-Secretary, Olumuyiwa Akingboro and Chairman Eastern Bar Forum, Kemasuode Wodu

• From left: Former President NBA, Lanke Odogiyan and M.A. Abubakar

• Former General-Secretary, NBA, Ibrahim Eddy Mark (left) and Dr. Garba Tertengi

• From left: Former President, NBA Lagos, Folusho Fayokun, Uche S. Awa and Hon. Sola Ogundemuyi

• Former Chairman NBA Kaduna branch, Olumuyiwa Olowokure (left) and Dafe Akpedeye (SAN)

• From left: Hon. Babatunde Ogala, Emmanuel Majebi, Lady Debby Obodoukwu and Secretary NBA Lagos branch, Alex Muoka

• From left: Lokuran Ganiyu, Dotun Adetunji, Chairman NBA Ikorodu branch, Kazeem Adebanjo

• R.O. Agbesor (left) and Seun Abimbola.







Rules governing the interpretation of statute In The Supreme Court of Nigeria On Friday, January 27, 2012 Suit No: SC.141/2011 (CON) Before Their Lordships Dahiru Musdapher ...JSC Mahmud Mohammed ...JSC Walter Samuel Nkanu Onnoghen ...JSC Christopher Mitchell Chukwuma-Eneh JSC Muhammad Saifullahi Muntaka-Coomassie ...JSC Olufunlola Oyelola Adekeye ...JSC Mary Ukaego Peter-Odili ...JSC Between 1. Brig.-Gen. Mohammed Buba Marwa 2. Congress for Progressive Change (CPC) - SC.141/2011 AND Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) - SC.266/2011 AND Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) - SC.267/2011 AND Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) - SC.282/2011 AND Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) - SC.356/2011 AND Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) - SC.357/2011 (CONSOLIDATED) ....APPELLANTS And 1. Admiral Murtala Nyako 2. Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) - SC.141/2011 3. Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) AND Senator Liyel Imoke - SC.266/2011 And 1. Chief Timipre Sylva 2. The Hon. Attorney-general Of Bayelsa State 3. Mienyoibofo Fafa Stephen-GOW - SC.267/2011 4. The Hon. Attorney-General of the Federation 5. Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) And 1. Alh. Aliyu Magatakarda Wamako - SC.282/2011 2. The Poeples Democratic Party And 1. Admiral Murtala Nyako (Governor Adamawa State) - SC.356/2011 2. Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) And 1. Alh. Ibrahim Idris (Governor Kogi State) - SC.357/2011 2. Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) (CONSOLIDATED) ....RESPONDENTS CLARA BATA OGUNBIYI, J.C.A. (Delivered the Leading Judgment): 11 CONSTITUTIONAL LAW : SUPREMACY OF THE CONSTITUTION:


HE nature and function of the Constitution " The supremacy of the Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria 1999 is captioned by Sections one and three, part 1 of Chapter 1 under general provisions which state that - Section One This constitution is supreme and its provisions shall have binding force on all authorities and persons throughout the Federal Republic of Nigeria." Section 3 "If any other law is inconsistent with the provisions of this constitution this constitution shall prevail and that other law shall to that extent of the inconsistency be void." This Court had given recognition to this supremacy and had expatiated on the Constitution through various judgments in its interpretative jurisdiction. The Constitution is described as the grundnorm and the fundamental law of the land. All other legislations in this country take their hierarchy from the provisions of the Constitution. It is not a mere common legal document. It is an organic instrument which confers powers and also creates rights and limitations. It regulates the affairs of the nation state and defines the powers of the different components of government as well as regulating the relationship between the citizens and the state. Once the powers, rights and limitations under the constitution are identified as having been created, their existence cannot be disputed in a court of law. But the extent and implications may be sought to be interpreted and explained by the court. The provisions of the constitution take precedence over any law enacted by the National Assembly even though the National Assembly has power to amend the constitution itself. A-G Ondo State v. A-G Federation (2002) 1 NWLR (Pt.772) pg.222. A-G Abia State v. A-G Federation (2002) 6 NWLR (Pt.763) pg.204. Abacha v. Fawehinmi (2000) 4 SC (pt.11) pg.1. Balonwu v. Gov. Anambra State (2009) 18 NWLR (Pt.1172) pg.13."Per ADEKEYE, J.S.C.(Pp. 8385, paras. G-B) - read in context 12 CONSTITUTIONAL LAW - TENURE OF OFFICE OF THE GOVERNOR: Whether the amendment to the 1999 Constitution in Section 180(2A) in 2010 is relevant in the deter-

mination of the tenure of office of the Governor "In resolving the two issues for determination in this appeal, my first point of call shall be the second issue or issue number 2 which is whether the 1st Respondent as Governor of Adamawa State is covered by the effect of the amendment of Section 180(2) of the Constitution by the introduction of Subsection 180(2A) which Provides - "In the determination of the four year term, where a re-run election has taken place and the person earlier sworn in wins the re-run election, the time spent in the office before the date the election was annulled shall be taken into account." As far as the law is concerned, this issue can be resolved by the application of the presumption against retrospective legislation, unless it is expressly provided for. In Olaniyi v. Aroyehun (1991) 5 N.W.L.R. 652 at 691 Nnameka-Agu JSC, (of blessed memory) stated the law particularly with regard to the interpretation and application of the provisions of the constitution as follows - "First the Constitution was not made to have retrospective effect. A Constitution like other statutes, operates prospectively and not retrospectively unless it is expressly provided to be otherwise. Such a legislation affects only rights which come into existence after it has been passed. See on

this Smith v. Callander (1901) A.C. 297; also Re Snowdon Colliery Co. Ltd. (1925) 94 L.J. Ch. 305. Secondly, it is a fundamental principle of our law that rights of parties in an issue in litigation are decided on the basis of the substantive or organic law in force at the time of the act in question." In the circumstances of this case therefore where the amendment to the Constitution came into force on July 16, 2011, the Court below was right in finding that the provisions in the amended Section 180(2A) of the Constitution, was not application to the present case. The issue is accordingly resolved against the Appellants."Per MOHAMMED, J.S.C.(Pp. 6264, paras. G-A) - read in context 13 ELECTORAL MATTERS - VALIDITY OF AN ELECTION: Whether a "void" election remains valid until it is declared void by the courts/tribunal "The issue/question of nullity and its legal consequences/effectiveness is usually traced to LORD DENNING'S obiter dictum in the case of Mcfoy vs UAC (1961) 3 ALLER 1169 at 1172 where he stated thus:- "If an act is void, then it is in law a nullity. If is not only bad, but incurably bad. There is no need for an order of the court to set it aside. It is automatically null and void without more ado, though it is sometimes convenient to have the court declare it to be so. And every proceeding which is founded on it is also bad and incurably bad. You cannot put something on nothing and expect it to stay there. It will collapse". To say that the above principles are based on facts which are not material in this case is to state the very obvious. Secondly, the court is in many cases/circumstances required to declare an act void before it becomes so, otherwise it remains valid and binding as is evident in our laws relating to elections where elections are presumed valid until declared null and void by the courts. In such a situation if you put something on the illegal act the period prior to the nullification it will surely stay put contrary to the general dictum on nullity as propounded by LORD DENNING supra."Per ONNOGHEN, J.S.C. (Pp. 41-42, paras. G-E) - read in context. 14. ELECTION PETITION - VALIDITY OF AN ELECTION: Whether the declaration of an election as a nullity affects the validity of the oaths of office taken by the governor "On nullity of the elections as declared by the courts/tribunals, it is beyond dispute that by our laws there is a presumption that an election is valid until the courts/tribunals declare it a nullity. When the tribunal/courts so declare the election, the declaration does not affect the validity of the oaths the governor took so as to function in that office as required by the constitution neither would it affect the Bills he signed into law, contracts awarded, budgets etc, etc see Balonwu vs Governor Anambra State (2009) 18 NWLR (Pt.1172) 13 at 49. It therefore means that the consequences of the annulled election is different from a null and void proceeding or act which is usually described as being incurably bad and of no effect whatsoever. The nullity which allows the validity of the acts of the governors prior to the nullification of the election is therefore much closer to the concept of a voidable act which is usually legally valid until challenged and subsequently set aside. I hold the considered view that to uphold the validity of the acts of the governors in office prior to the nullification of their election and reject the period they spent in office during which time they performed those acts in the determination of the period of their tenure is contrary to common sense and the clear intention of the fram-

ers of the constitution."Per ONNOGHEN, J.S.C (Pp. 53-54, paras. F-D) - read in context WALTER SAMUEL NKANU ONNOGHEN, J.S.C (Delivering the Leading Judgment): The consolidated appeals arose from the decision of the Court of Appeal, Holden at Abuja, delivered on April 15, 2011, in which the Court dismissed the consolidated appeal nos. CA/ A/113/2011; CA/A/117/2011; CA/A/118/ 2011; CA/A/119/2011 and CA/A/128/2011 and affirmed the decision of the Federal High Court Holden at Abuja, delivered on February 23, 2011. The facts relevant to the appeals are a fall out of the general election conducted in Nigeria in 2007. The elections included governorship election into the office of governor of the 36 states of the Federation. The victory of some of the state governors was challenged by other candidates on various grounds ranging from unlawful disqualification, electoral malpractices, to total absence of elections, which, however, produced winners. The following were among the successful governorship candidates whose electoral victories were challenged successfully by their rival candidates: (i) Admiral Murtala Nyako of Adamawa State. (ii) Mr Timipre Sylva of Bayelsa State. (iii) Mr Liyel Imoke of Cross River State. (iv) Alh. Aliyu Wamako of Sokoto State. (v) Alh. Ibrahim Idris of Kogi State. Meanwhile and following their electoral victories each of the above candidates were duly installed as Governor of their respective states on May 29, 2007, after taking the Oaths of Allegiance and of Office. The election petitions against their declaration as winners of the elections went on up to the Court of Appeal where the elections of the five governors, supra, were nullified after they had each spent more than a year in the office as Governors. The Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) was ordered to conduct a rerun election in all these states within 90 days as required by law. The re-run elections were duly conducted in the various states at various dates in 2008, which the candidates again won resulting in their taking another set of Oaths of Allegiance and Office and were installed as Governors on the following various dates: (a) Admiral M. Nyako of Adamawa State 30/4/2008, (b) Timipre Sylva of Bayelsa State - 29/5/ 2008, (c) Ibrahim Idris of Kogi state - 5/4/2008, (d) Aliyu Wamako of Sokoto State - 28/5/ 2008, and (e) Mr Liyel Imoke of Cross Rivers State 28/8/2008 The question arising from the above stated events revolves around the two sets of Oaths of Allegiance and of Office and installation in office of Governor and is simply put: Whether the term of office of each of these Governors expired at the end of four years calculated from May 29, 2007, or whether they are entitled to a tenure of four (4) years calculated from the date of the second taking of the Oaths of Allegiance and of Office following the re-run elections of 2008. The lower Courts held that the relevant point at which the four-year tenure of the Governors is to be calculated is the date they took their second Oaths of Allegiance and of Office in 2008. The instant consolidated appeals are against the above decision of the lower Courts. • To be continued

• Nigerian Bar Association (NBA) President Joseph Daudu (SAN) (sixth from right) with Badagry Branch executives and guests during their inauguration in Lagos.




‘Amicable resolution of election disputes not feasible’ Mrs Abimbola Akeredolu graduated from the University of Lagos in 1990 with a Law degree having earlier studied French. A partner in the firm of Banwo and Ighodalo, with expertise in Commercial Litigation and Arbitration, Mrs Akeredolu, in this interview with ERIC IKHILAE, speaks on how to curb delays in the courts, corruption in judiciary, need to re-examine the Electoral and Evidence Acts, among other issues. Excerpts:


HAT is your take on the debate over whether or not plea bargain is desirable in Nigeria? Where there are no set principles or guidelines, anarchy will prevail. Nobody will know what is right or wrong. I think the starting point is that, if we agree that we should do plea bargaining, so that we do not waste precious judicious time and energy, let there be guidelines. Is plea bargain acceptable under the law? There is a school of thought that says it is, and there is another which says it is not. But I will refrain from commenting because I have not done my research on the topic. But if, as a nation, we decide that we are going to allow it, please set out rules and guidelines. Otherwise, anarchy will continue to prevail. What is responsible for the perceived low quality of judgments by the courts? I really have not made such assessment. But I do know that in the mid-1980s, when the likes of Justices Kayode Eso, Chukwudifu Oputa, Nnamani, Nnaemeka Agu and Adenekan Ademola were in the Supreme Court and Court of Appeal, their decisions were always rendered with great depth. I can remember, for instance, the case of Adigun and the Attorney-General of Oyo State. That case provided an in-depth expose on the principle of fair hearing such that, having read that decision, I can teach fair hearing as a course. And I believe that is what a judgment should achieve, especially a judgment of the Supreme Court. It should put the matter beyond conjecture for you. I also remember reading the judgment of the late Honourable Justice Ogundare, in the case of Owodunni and the Registered Trustees of the Celestial Church of Christ. The analysis and research that went into that judgment was such that you will never forget the issue of locus standi if you are somebody who reads and understands. And I think the Supreme Court, being a court of Law; its decisions should be like a treatise on the subject matter. You get it every now and then, but of course understandably, you cannot get it every time. But the more of it we see, the nicer it will be. Can we attribute the perceived shallowness of today’s judgments to the increased volume of cases in the courts? Yes, it can be ascribed to that. The volume of cases in the Supreme Court is almost killing the poor judges. The volume is amazing. Maybe, somewhere down the line, legislations need to come that will whittle down the number of appeals that should or can go to the Supreme Court. The Supreme Court is essentially a court of law. So, only issues of law should really go to it. But then, our law allows you to argue issues of law facts and mixed law and facts. So, this further over burdens the courts because they now have to consider law and facts rather than just law. What is your view on the argument that the 180 and 60 days constitutional provision for election matters should be reworked? On that, I will say law is a dynamic body and is constantly changing. If you do not permit it to change, what you will have is anarchy and stagnation. And over time, new sets of problems will present themselves. Since this has presented itself, the National Assembly must be alive to its duties. You will find out that in England,

once a decision comes that creates an anomalous situation, the Parliament will quickly convene and determine the issue by passing a law that will resolve the issue raised by the judiciary. It is unfortunate that our National Assembly does not react to such developments that swiftly. Otherwise, since the Supreme Court upheld the constitutional provision as regards the duration of election matters, there should have been swift intervention from the National Assembly. How do you react to suggestions that the various alternative dispute resolution mechanisms be deployed to resolve election disputes? If we are worried about the issue of corruption, do not forget that in arbitration, the parties choose their adjudicator in the form of an arbitrator. And it is said that you sink or swim with your choice of arbitrator. If the decision of the election petition tribunal, presided over by a judicial officer, appointed pursuant to the Constitution can be contested, can you imagine the chaos that will come from just choosing an arbitrator? Then, if you have a three-man panel for arbitration, the issue of corruption will be more. It is bad enough what we hear about the regular judges. It will be more and worse with the arbitrators. Is amicable settlement of election disputes feasible in the country? I hold the view that it will be hardly workable. This is because I have found that what drives our politicians is not the desire to serve the people. It is a desire to reap the bounties of office. So, if that is the focus, it will be difficult to achieve a settlement in the manner you described. But if the true intention for contesting election is to serve; if the emphasis is on service, the matter can be resolved in the manner you described. But, there are too many selfish interests such that parties will never agree on such a settlement option. Why do you think different divisions of the Court of Appeal reach varied decisions in cases with similar facts and circumstances? Can this be curbed, particularly as it relates to election matters? I think what makes the world an interesting place is that no two persons are the same, think and view things the same way. So, the Court of Appeal panel constituted in Lagos, and you know Lagos can be particularly difficult because of the volume of cases. That could account for these differentials. It also depends on the way the application is presented and argued. I started practice in Ilorin (Kwara State) and we had time to really review our cases and engage in research. We didn’t have the pressure of Lagos. So, the same matter before the Court of Appeal in Ilorin, thoroughly articulated and with brilliant submission will lead to a different conclusion. Such contradictions could also be prevented if counsel will assist the court by bringing past decisions of other divisions to its notice, even when they will only be persuasive. Since the amendment of the Evidence Act last year, how has the experience been? I can’t say that I am familiar with all the provisions. But the one that applies to my practice is the one that requires getting some form of certification before electronic evidence can be admitted in evidence. The workability, to my mind, is going to be quite challenging. In the few cases where we, as a firm,

• Mrs Akeredolu.

have tried to bring electronic evidence and we needed to get certification, we had intended to rely on our Information Technology (IT) Administrator because they are printed out of our computers and he is charge of maintaining it. Unfortunately, the issue didn’t come up because the documents were admitted without any problem. But we foresee a problem in future because the question is, if you want to tender an e-mail message printed out from your personal computer, who is to provide that certification? Whether the addition of those sections of the Act was well-thought out as regards their applicability, remains a live question. In the United Kingdom for instance, the admission of electronic evidence is almost simple. It is the man who alleges that the document was fraudulently generated that has the onus of proving it. If you bring an e-mail that has been printed, there should really be no basis to object to it except you are able to say it was contrived mischievously. How do you react to the argument that specialised courts could curb delay in case management? I have my doubt whether the creation of special courts will remedy that problem. The remedy to that problem is for everybody to resolve that he wants to be the best lawyer or judge that he can be. Stemming from that, a good lawyer will never seek to delay a case and a good judge will be committed to expeditiously determining a case before him/her. My style of practice is that, look here, let’s get it over and done with. You are just postponing the evil days if you try to delay cases. Whether you like it or not, the judge is forming an impression if you are clearly the one delaying the case. The problem of delay could also be cured if we, as lawyers, advise our clients appropriately. If a cli-


ent comes to you and briefs you on a matter that you see clearly is a bad case and you advise the client appropriately, there will not be delay. Delay could also be curbed if the law introduces stiffer sanctions for frivolous cases. Cost should move up and be more reflective of reality. If a frivolous case is filed, you either withdraw it, or it is struck out on the ground that it is frivolous; the court should award cost that is commensurate. I have got a cost of N500, 000 in the past because it was a frivolous case. If costs are high, you will find that frivolous cases will not be filed, and the list of court will be less congested. Will that not negate the belief that costs should not be punitive? Well, there is a saying in law that justice is a two-way traffic. If you say justice should not be punitive, and you have driven an innocent man to retain the services of a lawyer; you have made him expend time in attending court, I believe you deserve some sanctions for that. If you do not want to call it punishment, then something must give. Justice, being a two-way traffic, should be for the applicant and the defendant. How do we address the problem of corruption among judicial officers? I cannot say I know of any specific case of corruption. But we hear all these stories of corruption among judicial officers. I once read what Lord Denning said that a corrupt judge is like a bull in a China store; he will destroy everything. My adoption of that quotation is that, a corrupt judge is anarchy in the society. If anybody is seen or shown to be corrupt, he should be shown the door. He is not fit for that most distinguished office. How do we enhance the speed of the court system, particularly in relation to case management? I was at an International Bar Association (IBA) conference in 2008

and a gentleman from Singapore shared his experience with me. He said before they effected reforms in the Law sector, they also had this experience of cases taking forever. He said, in trying to deal with the problem, they came up with a solution that made them create a Case Management Office as part of the judicial system, which though exists within the judicial system, operates as an independent body. It tracks cases and finds out what is responsible for delays. If it realises that it is the judge that is not convening, it draws the judge’s attention to such delays and seeks ways of ensuring that the case is promptly dealt with. The office also tracks counsel. If a counsel is supposed to have filed a pleading or any other thing and he has not, officials of the office will call him up and persuade him. The office relies mainly on its persuasive authority. I can’t recollect if there is some form of sanctions. But, there was some form of persuasive authority from that body that drove cases. How did you come about your multilingual skills? I easily pick up languages. I believe I have the flair for languages. I did a first degree in French and I graduated in the Second Class Upper Division. In the course of my studying for my degree in French, in the second year; they started teaching Italian in the University and the Italian government, in a bid to encourage Italian language students, gave two scholarships to the best students in the Italian class. I was fortunate to be one of the recipients of the scholarships and we were sent to the Universita Per Stranieri, Perugia, Italy. And we ended up spending a month or two in the university. With the little Italian we had learnt in one year, I could find my way around from Rome to Perugia by train. Then, I did O’ Level German when I was in secondary school in England. So, I can get around with German. I speak Yoruba and English as well. I have many Ibo friends and have also been around some Hausa people. When I was in England, there were French, Iranian and Chinese students. My interest in languages is also enhanced by my realisation that language is a very powerful tool in communicating and influencing people. I realise that if you want to reach a person or soften a person; by the time you relate to him in his mother tongue, his attitude towards you is softer. So, that is why it appears that I can speak many languages. I have learnt to say basic things in very many languages. Why Law? And how has your ability to communicate in many languages helped your practice? I had wanted to study Law from the very beginning, but my A’ Level points were not good enough to qualify for admission into the law faculty. So, I went in for French. There was the option of changing to Law in the second year, but I believe if you start something, you should finish it. So, that was how I started and completed a first degree in French. It was my degree in French that got me admission into Law. I chose to study Law because, ever since I could think, I hated oppression. Even in the family, I don’t like seeing the older people or more powerful people oppress those who are weaker. There was no familial antecedent for studying Law in my family. None of my parents or close relation was a lawyer. It was just from within me. I hated oppression and I needed to equip myself to fight it.





Ekiti State Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) is in a fix. Before the recent congress, it was polarized into three factions. Now, the outcome of the cngress has deepened the intra-party crisis, reports Correspondent SULAIMAN SALAWUDEEN.

Ekiti PDP: A divided house E

KITI State Peoples Demo cratic Party is battling with protracted crisis. Although a new state executive committee was elected at its recent congress in Ado-Ekiti, the exercise failed to unite the three factions. The factions are led by the Southwest PDP leader, Mr. Segun Oni, Minister of Police Affairs, Navy Capt. Caleb Olubolade, and former Governor Ayodele Fayose. The three leaders are locked in a battle for supremacy in the party. At the congress, Mr. Makanjuola Ogundipe was elected as the new party chairman. But after the exercise, a party chieftain, Mr. Akin Omole objected to the exercise, claiming that he is the authentic chairman.Ogundipe is a member of Fayose’s faction. Omole is an active supporter of Oni. The warring leaders had presented candidates for the various party offices ahead of the congress. However, Olubolade- and Oni lost out. The two failed to enlist popular support for their respective chairmanship aspirants. Since Fayose’s candidate emerged as the chairman, the two camps have not shown the readiness to cooperate with the new

executive committee. For example, the new exco complained that it had become difficult for it to resume at the party secretariat, owing to lack of plans for official handover. Last year, PDP elders had • Oni Olubolade pleaded with Fayose to return to base, after about three years of turn to the party, Olubolade and happy that Olubolade took the firing salvos to the fold from outOni camps, which were pre-ocshine off the deposed governor side. A delegation comprising cupied with the choice of candiduring the last presidential former Deputy Governor Paul date for the 2014 governorship campaigns. In their view, Oni Alabi had appealed to him and elections, were scheming to disshould have been made minisother aggrieved members who credit one another.Party memter, instead of the retired naval had dumped the party to return, bers who worshipped at the feat officer.During the electioneerwith a promise to accord them of the minister believed that he ing, President Goodluck their rightful position in the was the main arrowhead beJonathan was inundated with chapter. cause he could distribute recomplaints that Ekiti PDP was The party elders reasoned that sources. However, prominent a divided house threatening to Fayose could assist in lifting the PDP chieftains who served unfall. Worried by the discord, he spirit of the party and reversing der the defunct Oni Adminishad appealed to the chieftains its dwindled fortunes. It was betration remained loyal to their to close rank and work for collieved that the former governor’s former boss. While supporters lective interest Oni’s camp populist inclinations could beof Olubolade perceived Oni as openly canvassed against come an asset during electioneera liability, having lost power, Olubolade’s bid to become ing. Others recalled that, when thereby exposing the party to minister immediately after the the party was done in 2001, ridicule, Oni’s men saw elections, despite the latter’s Fayose was among the new stalOlubolade as a defector comsubstantive post as a minister warts who lifted the chapter ing to reap where he did not of state. from the dungeon. sow, unlike Oni, who, as a However, things appeared to One of the banes of Ekiti PDP is founding member, laboured look bright for the party lately the absence of a top leader who for the party during difficult when, just two days before the command overwhelming suptimes. ward congresses across the port. Thus, reconciliation was Supporters of Oni are also not State, the minister summoned short-lived. Before Fayose’s re-

a meeting of the stakeholders in Ado-Ekiti. At the meeting were Fayose, Ropo Adesanya, Mrs. Fatima Raji-Rasaki and Alabi. The second day, at another meeting held at Ipoti-Ekiti, which was attended by Fayose, Alabi, Oni, Chief Dayo Okondo and former Deputy Governor Abiodun Aluko, the party leaders promised to work for unity. However, the meeting never achieved the objective of unity and harmony. While die-hard loyalists, including Senator Clement Awoyelu, former state chairman of the party, Chief Ropo Adesanya, Chief Yinka Akerele, Okondo believe that Oni should be the overall leader, Chief Alabi, former Minister of State for Energy (Gas), Mr Tunde Odusina, Aluko, and Dr Jimi Oke believe that only Olubolade is better placed to assure that role. The minister, who had an edge as the party’s representative in Abuja, had been instructed by the national leadership to rebuild the party. In discharging that role, he said: “PDP problem is not that of Olubolade, Segun Oni or that of Ayo Fayose alone, but that of every member. We have a lot of talents in our party and if these talents are harnessed, we will surely come back to power in the coming election”. However, with the selection of Oni as the zonal leader, the role reverted back to the former governor. Yet, as he took off as the national vice chairman, he is assailed by the fact that the Ekiti PDP exco has not been cast in his own image. Now, Oni’s faction, led by Barr. Akin Omole, has gone ahead to form a parallel exco, claiming to be the authentic state executive committee. War has broken out between the duly elected chairman, Mr. Makanjuola Ogundipe and Omole, and there is no end in sight to the intrigue.

Ondo ACN aspirants intensify campaign for governorship


O fewer than 42 indigenes of Ondo State are jostling for the governorship of the state across the three main parties; the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), Action Congress of Nigeria (ACN) and Labour Party (LP). The general election may hold in October in the ‘Sunshine State’. Governance in the 36 years old state cannot be a tea party. Observers argue that many challenges would stare the next governor in the face. One of the challenges is how to industrialise Ondo State. Who among the aspirants across the three parties can resuscitate the moribund Oluwa Glass Company, which has the potentials of generating employment for youths; revive the Ceramic Industry at Ifon, create a vibrant local economy by turning around the Ute’s Limestone Project, turn the abandoned games’ reserve around and boost tourism in the state beyond Idanre hills? Many of the aspirants have declared their ambition at the ward, local government, state levels and on the pages of newspapers. Also, many of them are still consulting with their constituencies and network of friends across the state. Sources said pressures are being mounted on some of them to join the fray, based on their antecedents and track records in public office and private practice.

• From left: ACN delegates from Benue State; Hon. Joseph Idoko; Hon. Dr Fidelis Anweh; Prince Maza Anga; Hon. Jerome Shimbe; Emmanuel Vambeh and Princess Dooyun Alongo at the declaration of governorship intention by Chief Rotimi Akeredolu (SAN) at Akure, Ondo State.

Across the 18 local governments, politics is in the air. There are 203 wards in the state and aspirants are raising personal structures down to family units. In the last general elections, there were 3,009 polling units. Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) sources said the figure may be sustained. The population of the state is 3.4 million. How-

ever, not up to two million would vote at the polls. They include indigenes and sojourners; Igbo, Ebira, Hausa and Yoruba from neighbouring states. Top on the list of aspirants is LP Governor Olusegun Mimiko, who is the sole aspirant in the ruling party. He is expected to fly the flag of the party along with Deputy Governor Ali Olanusi, if the septuagenarian

does not step down on account of old age. Dr Mimiko, a medical doctor, hails from Ondo, in the Central District and Alhaji Olanusi, an Akoko, is from the North District. For Mimiko, how to break the second term jinx is a big hurdle. Except the late Governor Adekunle Ajasin, no governor has won election for a second term in the state. Ajasin won a second term in 1983, but he was

shoved aside by the military. In 2003, the late Governor Adebayo Adefarati was displaced by Governor Olusegun Agagu. Dr. Mimiko fought a hard battle to reclaim his stolen mandate from the PDP two years ago. Supporters of the governor have said that he deserved a second term in office. Continuity in office, they argued, would foster development through the completion of on-going projects. But ACN contender, Ekungba, objected to this argument. He said: “There is a policy in Ondo State that governors will only do one term in office. Ajasin, Adefarati, and Agagu only spent one term. The current governor is an advocate of “one governor, one term”. Why should his own be different?”. Another aspirant, Dr. Olu Agunloye, echoed him, saying: “What we need is not continuity, but change and ACN is working towards this because it is in peoples’ interest”. Another issue is zoning, which is an informal, gentlemanly agreement to move the seat round the three senatorial zones. There is no district that has not enjoyed the slot before. Prominent PDP aspirants include Senator Remi Okunrinboye, a lawyer, Rotimi Bassey, Jimoh Ibrahim, Hon. Oke Oluwole, Hon. Beatron Ogunleye, Navy Capt. Sunday Adewusi, Alaba Isijola, Moyosola •Continued on page 40




Exit of an ‘emergency administrator’


S death sneaked into Egbaland, Ogun State, snatching the foremost medical practitioner and statesman, a chapter ended in the history of Western Region. Contemporary history students may have beamed more searchlight on his political involvement than his professional service as a doctor and ‘unionist’ within the confine of the Nigerian Branch of the British Medical Association. Yet, Dr. Moses Koye Majekodunmi had become a household name in Lagos and Egbaland as a distinguished medical guru, mentor and role models for young doctors, and community man before his foray, as it were, into pseudo-politics. His contribution to the growth of the Island Maternity, along Massey Street, Lagos was legendary. He was an advocate of primary health care. As the honorary secretary of the medical association, he had teamed up with the association’s president, Sir. Kofo Abayomi, to demand for a professional hospital management board. The association gave the government a seven-day ultimatum in 1957, putting the Minister of Health, the late Chief Ayotunde Rosiji, and his counterpart in the Ministry of Social Services, Chief Aja Nwachukwu, into stress. When government succeeded in splitting the ranks of the doctors, Majekodunmi fired salvos at its officials, claiming that “inducements were offered to our members to desert the cause; promotions and study leave were freely distributed”. At the Massey Street Dispensary, Majekodunmi rose through the ranks, serving as senior specialist and acting chief deputy medical adviser to the federal government. Later, he became chief medical adviser to the Prime Minister. Throughout his career, he never compromised the oath of his profession. He fought for the expansion of the dispensary and establishment of new health centres, improved condition of service for doctors and modern medical facilities compared to European and American hospitals. Majekodunmi was Balewa’s personal friend. It was therefore, not surprising when he was appointed as a senator. Under the parliamentary system, it became easy for the Prime Minister to also appoint him as a Minister of State before he was appointed Minister of Health in succession to Alhaji Waziri Ibrahim. He saw his appointment as minister as an extension of his service to the fatherland. Majekodunmi refused to stay in government’s quarters, preferring to receive a rent allowance of 120 pounds per annum, a amount that was later increased to 1,200 per annum few days before the military take over of January 15, 1966. Majekodunmi was not a politician in the real sense of the world. However, he could not be neutral in the politics of fire, disaster and destabilisation that engulfed the old Western Region, especially when he was drafted by Prime Minister Abubakar Tafawa Balewa to assume the reins for six months as the administrator. What paved the way for his ascension was the avoidable split in the Action Group (AG) led by the late Chief Obafemi Awolowo. The deputy leader, Premier Ladoke Akintola, was at loggerheads with the leader, who insisted that the premier’s popularity should be decided on the floor of the House of Assembly. That was after the governor, Oba Adesoji Aderemi, the Ooni of Ife, had removed SLA as


By Emmanuel Oladesu Deputy Political Editor

premier. Akintola fought back, claiming that the late Alhaji Dauda Adegbenro did not properly emerge as premier. Awo asked for security for parliamentarians as they wanted to sit, but Balewa, who supported Akintola, objected, saying that the decision arrived at would not be acceptable to the Federal Government, if the House met under police protection. Akintola was smart enough as he fought a spirited battle to remain in control. As the House, which was presided over by Speaker Adeleke Adedoyin resumed session, Hon. Oke from Ogbomoso Constituency, threw a seat at a legislator, shouting ‘fire on the mountain”. There was commotion as chairs started flying and legislators were exchanging blows. To restore imaginary order into the troubled region, Balewa declared a state of emergency. The Chief Justice of the Federation, the late Justice Adetokunbo Ademola, alerted the governor to the danger of imminent humiliation, advising him to vacate the Governor’s Lodge in a hurry for his palace at Ile-Ife. As the administrator arrived Ibadan , the capital of Western Region, he wasted no time in invoking the emergency powers of curfew, restrictions and house arrest, thereby dispersing the principal political actors. AG leaders accused Majekodunmi of partiality in the distribution of restricted places. They claimed that, while Akintola and his men were restricted in their familiar areas, it was a different ball game for the Awolowo men. For example, Bola Ige was restricted to Ubiaja, Lateef Jakande to Kwale, Bisi Onabanjo to Forcados and Adegbenro to Osogbo. The Akarigbo of Remo, the late Oba Moses Awolesi, and Odemo of Isara, Oba Samuel Akinsanya, were restricted to their palaces. Later, Majekodunmi set up the ‘emergency cabinet’ comprising of notable figures who were politically hostile to Awolowo. The emergency commissioners included Epe-born Chief Safi Edu, former AG regional legislator who had parted with Awo; University of Ife teacher, Dr. Omololu Olunloyo, Principal of Iwo Baptist College, Mr. Olaosebikan and Mr. Layonu. It was during the emergency rule that Awolowo and his associates were also ‘arraign’ before the Coker Commission of Enquiry to shed light on regional finances. Midway into the investigation,

Balewa alleged that his government had uncovered an arms plot. Awo and his associates were tried and sentenced to various imprisonment terms. After six months of turbulence, the emergency rule was over and Akintola regained his lost seat. Then, the Privy Council, to which Adegbenro had taken his case, had ceased to be the highest appellate court in Nigeria. Back in the federal cabinet, Majekodunmi faced his ministerial assignments as a professional. Although he was still a Senator, he refrained from making inflammatory political statements. In 1966, he was among the ministers swept away by the military coup. The former administrator retired to his private medical practice. When he clocked 80, he reflected on his tenure, saying that he answered the patriotic call to serve. He also denied being hostile to AG chieftains, stressing that he ruled based on the emergency powers conferred on him. He founded the St. Nicholas Hospital, Lagos and was its chairman until his demise. Paying tribute to him, Senate President David Mark said Majekodunmi dedicated his life to the service of humanity as a doctor and public servant, urging the government of Ogun State to immortalise him because he led a life worthy of emulation. Oyo State Governor Abiola Ajimobi expressed shock at the news of Majekodunmi’s death, saying that he left behind indelible marks. He said his demise had robbed Nigeria of the wealth of experience needed to tackle the country’s socio-economic and political problems. Former Ogun State Governor Segun Osoba, described him as a great Nigerian. He said: “He was a father to me, until he died. I used to go to him regularly to tap from his wealth of experience and wisdom. I would sit with him discussing Nigeria. He was a great man; very unassuming and quiet”. Senator Olabiyi Durojaye recalled that the deceased was a distinguished medical consultant to the late Prime Minister before serving as Health Minister. He noted that he lived a fulfilled life, adding: “It takes the grace of God and good health to live up to 95 in this generation”. Durojaye added: “He was highly favoured by God. The late Dr. Majekodunmi hailed from one of those illustrious families of Egbaland we have heard about from childhood”.

Inseurity is a national threat, says Orji By Emmanuel Oladesu


BIA State Governor Theodore Orji has lamented the lack of security in the country, urging the federal government to halt the menace of Boko Haram in national interest. The governor said that the sect has been violating peoples’ right to life and peace, stressing that many in the north cannot enjoy their freedom of religion and assembly without hinderance. Orji said in a statement by his Chief Press Secretary Ugochukwu Emezue that the violence being perpetuated by the sect is an affront on peaceful co-exixtence. He said: “These killings are barbaric, inhuman and unwarranted. It is a dastardly act that will not escape the wrath of God. Christianity and Islam preach peace. It is strange that some people are killing innocent people under whatever guise. The governor urged security agencies to intensify their onslaught against the enemies of national unity, peace and liberty. He added: Insecurity is a national threat. Security is the duty of all Nigerians. We should team up with government and security agents to nip violence in the bud.

ACN intensifies campaign in Ondo •Continued from page 39

Niran-Oladunni, and Victor Olabimtan. Party sources said that community leaders and top party stalwarts are mounting serious pressure on the former Presidential Adviser on Oil, Mr. Funso Kupolokun, and former Police Inspector Sunday Ehindero, a lawyer, to join the race in the PDP. In ACN, contenders include Senator Ajayi Boroffice, who defected from LP to the party last December, former Finance Commissioners Mr. Wale Akinterinwa and Mr. Segun Ojo, former Defence Minister Dr. Olu Agunloye, former House of Representatives member Dr Jayeola Ajatta, state chairman of the party, former party chairman, Mrs. Jumoke Anifowose, an industrialist, Mr. Akintola Awodeyi-Akinsehinwa Apata, former Trade Bank Chief Executive, Alhaji Jamiu Ekungba, Mr. Felix Rawa, Mr.Gbenga Abraham, Alhaji Lateef Raji, and former Alliance for Democracy (AD) chairman Comrade Sola Iji. Others are Mr. Tayo Alasoadura, Senator Olorunnimbe Farunkan-mi, foremost rights activist Dr Tunji Abayomi, frontline lawyer Chief Rotimi Akeredolu, (SAN), Segun Abraham, and Mr. Saka Lawal. A major concern of the ACN leadership is that some aspirants are just campaigning without sparing thought for how to solidify the party structures at the grassroots. To forestall post-primary crises, the aspirants are meeting regularly to discuss the future of the party. But mistrust and suspicion are rife, although when an aspirant is declaring his ambition, other aspirants are always present at the ceremony. Other indigenes said to be nursing governorship ambition across the parties include Senator Omololu Meroyi, Mr. Femi Adekanmbi, Mr. Festus Oluwole, Hon. Akintade, Mr. Kunle Oniya from Ido-Ani, Mr. Segun Oke, Adelegbe Timehin, Dr. Olu Jolade, Olaiya Aribo, Shola Akinfenwa, Tolu Babalaje, Abdulazeez Bakare, Hon. Odeyemi, Mr. Ayodele Adedipe, and Mr. Felix Ogunjunilebo. However, Ekungba said only about eight serious aspirants are on ground. “How can somebody who has not administered 10 people before administer a whole state?”, he queried, dismissing the ambition of some aspirants as window dressing. Currently, LP has two senators, ACN has one, who defected from LP and PDP has none. All the members of the Houses of Assembly and Representatives and elected council functionaries belong to LP. However, scores of LP chieftains have been defecting to ACN ahead of the general election. “LP is a stinking party, without spread and reach, unlike LP in the UK. The chairman resigned and accused the governor of running the party alone. That is not a progressive party’, intoned Ekungba. Governor Mimiko has intensified pre-election advertisement of his achievements in all the sectors. However, ACN has insisted that Mimiko parades cosmetic feats, urging the indigenes to shine their eyes. Agunloye queried: “ How much was spent on those projects, including markets, which is the responsibility of the local government?”. The governor’s aides have also accused the ACN of propaganda. Ekungba took exception to the insinuation. He queried: “Is ACN selling Ondo to a foreigner? The chairman of LP is an Igbo. He is the Chancellor of our state university. Does that mean that LP is selling Ondo to a foreigner? ‘Adaba Radio’ was used to rattle PDP in favour of Mimiko. If it is now rattling him, that means the beat has changed”.

• Governor Adams Oshiomhole of Edo State (right) receives Mr Edward Sado (left), former State Chairman of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), who decamped to the ACN. With them is Hon Peter Aliu, Edo State House of Assembly member.




•From left: Lagos State Governor Babatunde Fashola; his deputy Mrs Adejoke Orelope-Adefulire and Minister for the Environment Hadija Hadiza Mailafia.

• Bello giving his welcome address

•From left: Chairperson, Friends of Environment Mrs Olu Maduka; Chairman, Nest Nigeria Environment Study/ Actor Team Prof David Okoli; University of Missouri, Kansas City, US Prof Jimmy Adegoke and Deputy ViceChancellor, University of Lagos, Prof Babajide Alo. •Swedish Ambassador, Per Lindgarde (left) and British Deputy High Commissioner, Peter West

•Dr Monica Munan

•Dr Fajemirokin Bola

•From left: Lagos Commissioner for Education, Mrs Olayinka Oladunjoye; her Establishment Training and Pension counterpart, Mrs. Florence Oguntuase and Water Front Infrastructure Development, Prince Segun Oniru

Why climate change affects our lives, by Bello


HERE is the need to create awareness on the vulnerability and effects of climate change in all aspects of our lives while exploring adaptability measures, says Lagos State Commissioner for the Environment, Mr Tunji Bello. He stated this at the just concluded Fourth Climate Change Summit with the theme Vulnerability and adaptability to climate change in Nigeria. Bello said the state is committed to the technical review of the vehicular emission regulation proposed for next year and a law that will guarantee sustainable environment. He decried the menace of ocean surge and flooding . The commissioner committed the state to exploring the best mitigating options in its effort to combat the negative effects of climate change. Lagos State Governor, Mr Babatunde Fashola, in his remarks said the state has adopted advocacy as a critical part of its adaptation strategy. He referred to the devastating effects of climate change as an unconventional

By Okwy Iroegbu-Chikezie Asst Editor

war declared by Mother Nature, which must be fought by an unconventional army. He said: ”The underlying solution to climate change is knowledge, preparation and adaptation. Therefore knowledge, information and our relentless resolve to dominate the earth will be the weapons we need to fight and win this war”. Minister of the Environment Hajia Hadiza Mailafa, said her ministry has taken some national initiatives and policies, which culminated in the presentation of two documents to the executive to mainstream climate change into the national agenda. She regretted the lack of compliance to rules and regulations on environmental laws by not only individuals, but organisations and even government agencies. The minister warned that Vision 20:2020 and the transformation agenda of the current administration may be may be jeoaprdised if nothing urgent is done. On the way forward she suggested the mainstreaming of climate

change issues into state and federal agenda and the exploration of opportunities in international financial instruments to fund climate change effects. In her paper, Chairman, House Committee on the Environment, Mrs Uche Ekwunife, observed the degradation of the environment by climate change and subsequently canvassed an organised technical approach to check the menace. She called on the Federal Government to provide funding and collaborate with multi-lateral agencies in providing the needed counterpart funding. Ekwunife, represented by a member of the Committee, Dr. Micah Umoh, stressed the need to monitor vehicular emissions and deal with it according to international conventions and laws to preserve the environment and by extension the lives of the people. In his contribution, Senate Committee Chairman, Environment & Ecology, Senator BukolaSaraki, said climate change pose a serious threat to existence. He blamed weak institution, coordination and funding to its parlous state. He said: “We should maximise resources

management, coordinate plans and budget to avoid waste. There is a need for stakeholders to integrate plans to improve synergy in environmental management and coordinate programmes. Saraki, who was represented by a member of the committee, Mr Kingsly Amaku, said the Ecological Fund was set up to tackle the issue of environmental challenges but regretted that despite huge funds disbursed no result has been achieved. He stressed that whether the fund is insufficient or disbursement ineffective there is need for the process to be examined. Saraki hinted on the planned legislative instrument in addition to the domestication of international environment conventions to enable the funds tackle ecological problems adequately. On some of the environmental and ecological challenges in the country, he noted erosion, flooding, desertification, where five to six kilometres of arable land has been lost in the northern part of the country. He called for the review of extant laws which are outdated and out modelled to meet contemporary needs.




Flood: Residents plead with Ogun


ESIDENTS of New Dawn Estate, Magboro, in Isheri North on the Lagos/Ibadan Expressway in Ogun State have appealed to the Ogun State Governor, Adekunle Amosun, to urgently address the flooding challenge on the axis before the rains begin. Their fear is predicated on the predictions by the Nigeria Metrological Institute (NIMET) that there would be a downpour and flooding. Last year, some houses on the axis were submerged and there were human and material losses. In an interview with The Nation, Chairman, New Dawn Estate Residents Association, Magboro in Isheri North, Dr AdekunleAdepitan, said he represents the collective interest of resourceful Nigerians, who reside in that axis of the state. He lamented the challenge of massive flooding at the earliest sign of rain and the over flow of theOgun river. He noted that last year’s flooding affected their estate greatly to the extent that the water level was so high that houses were submerged and in moderate cases the flood got to “the level of an average door.” He said the state of the estate was different from what it used to be when they bought it from AfriBank now Mainstreet Bank. He said: “We bought the land from Afribank Estate a few years ago in good faith and sincerely the residents believe the bank conducted due diligence before committing themselves to us to subscribe to the plots of land. The management of the bank perfected the titles on behalf of all the subscribers and at no time were we informed that the area was flood prone and therefore not fit for habitation as we are experiencing now”, he said. He wondered why the government allowed the portion of land to be sold to the public if they knew all the while that it was on a flood plain and not fit for habitation. On what he thinks is the reason be-

Tips for building a country home (2)

By Okwy Iroegbu-Chikezie Asst. Editor

hind the flooding, he said: “The residents learnt from experts that the major cause of the flooding is the over flow of Ogun River banks and that one of the efficient means of mitigating it is creating artificial lakes. This was also concurred by some government officials when President Goodluck Jonathan visited after the destructive flooding of last year.” Secondly, the dredging of Ogun River such that the river will flow easily through to Kara market to Majudon in Ikorodu is a suggestion that has received wide acceptance as people believe that tangible results can be achieved in that way. Asked if they have made representations to the government, he said before now, a lot of estates on Isheri North made representations to the Governor after the flooding of last year when most of the houses in the various estates were submerged. However, he explained that New Dawn Estate were on sideline believing the state government will treat the issues involved holistically and not in isolated cases since they are aware of the plight of the residents in the axis. He alleged the state in conjunction with the Federal Government promised something tangible will be done to mitigate the flood disaster but unfortunately not much has been done to preserve the human and material losses that may be experienced at the onset of rains this year which scientific projections say will be as bad as last year. “Our plea to the government is for them to urgently come to our rescue and do the needful before the rains rather than allowing individual estates to take their destiny into their hands by engaging in the creation of artificial canal. He advised the government to note that the planned mega city and proposed greater Lagos may be a mirage if the flooding in the axis is not taken care of,” he said.



According to him, the challenge does not call for dishing out palliatives but rather to tackle the problem with all the seriousness it deserves as the financial implications of the exercise is far beyond what any individual estate can handle. Furthermore, he called the attention of the government to the state of the long-bridge on the axis between Kara and Warewa community along the Lagos/lbadan highway. He said: “Before now one will hardly notice a vibration on the bridge but currently the state of the bridge has gotten so bad that there are fears in certain quarters that the bridge may be swept by flood in the nearest future or worse still collapse if nothing urgent is done. These days the bridge is always flooded at the slightest sign of rain” There is, indeed, apprehension on the possible collapse of the bridge by residents of Isheri-North, Ibafo, Arepo and Warewa. On what the residents will do if asked to relocate by the government, he said: “The government l believe will not behave in a military fashion, if they say that, they must provide alternatives for the people. If for instance, they say we should leave our homes temporary to allow them deploy all the engineering know-how to check the flooding challenges, they must first check the implications, which include alternative accommodation for residence and alternative workplaces for companies that are in that area.

•From left: Lasisi, Gbede and Akewusola

Nigerite partners surveyors on capacity development


IGERITE Limited has indicated intention to partner with the Nigerian Institute of Quantity Surveyors (NIQS) to train its members on latest technologies in the construction industry as a capacity building effort to keep them abreast of their profession. The Managing Director of Nigerite Limited, Mr. Jean- Luc Viatour, stated this while welcoming the delegation of NIQS led by its Lagos State Chapter Chairman, Alhaji Tijani Lasisi, during a facility tour of the roofing sheet manufacturing company. In his address, he said Nigerite has positioned itself as the number one building solution provider in

the construction industry by providing lots of different building solutions systems to help the professionals. He stated that the company has developed a number of different building systems solutions that can be useful in updating knowledge in the industry. “We just developed our dry construction system which is going to be helpful to you, it can be quickly built within a short period of time. We are building some other roofing solutions which can serve as source of knowledge to you as well,” he said. Viatour advised members of the institute to take full advantage of all the building solutions being in-

troduced to them as he assured them of constant support from Nigerite. Similarly, the company’s Marketing Director, Toyin Gbede, said: “Nigerite over time has been coming up with innovations for professionals to tap and keep them abreast of developments in the industry.” In his response, the NIQS Chairman, who expressed delight and commended Nigerite for its leadership position in the industry through its regular refresher training for professionals over the years. He recalled the long standing relationship between the institute and the company and called for closer ties.

ELCOME to the part two of how to build your country home. It’s amazing how many responses we got from our readers but l will only publish the one below for space constraints. We advised that a prospective home owner should not disregard his relations back home and we cited examples of those who did to their peril. Certainly nobody will suggest that you hand over your purse to your uncle or aunt in the village but the idea is to be diplomatic enough not to show that their contribution is not important. I know of a banker who started a housing project over seven years ago but till today he is still struggling to complete the project. His case is pitiable because he relied so much on this particular uncle of his who had an overbearing presence and influence on everybody in his family. In this particular instance he insisted that except he is involved from the conception of the project all hell will be let loose. He threatened not to allow the workers to keep their work tools in his house or monitor the workers and since the young man only had his aged mother in the village, he agreed to toe the line of the uncle for peace to reign and for the project to move smoothly. Besides, he reasoned that the man will not want to soil his reputation by conniving with the workers to cheat or do anything that will stall the execution of the building according to schedule. The building, a six room bungalow according to schedule was to be completed in 24 months. He decided on this length of time so that he will not give himself out as ‘having arrived’. He thought his relations will understand and appreciate that he is struggling and only embarked on the project to have shelter over his mother and siblings being the first in the family but event afterwards showed that he was mistaken and didn’t quite understand the complexity of his extended family. Unknown to this young man, immediately he signified his intentions to build, his uncle also made up his mind to build additional two bedrooms flat for his son who will be graduating from the university that year. Your guess is as good as mine as this man at this time was a retiree who depended on his monthly pension to survive and take care of a family of seven. He insisted on getting the bricklayer who he vouched was more qualified than any architect as his

By Okwy Iroegbu-Chikezie Asst Editor

popularity had soared beyond their village. The young man grudgingly agreed but insisted that they must adhere to his architects drawings. As his building progressed, he discovered that his uncle’s flat went in the same speed, to confirm his suspicions he found out that the material estimate for the completion of his house has been expended without getting to the lintel level. He blamed himself for choosing his uncle’s house as a depot for his building materials. Friction developed and he parted ways with him but he found out that he couldn’t put his finances together and for about four years the building was abandoned. When he got back to continue the project, relations prevailed on him not to take the supervisory role of his uncle on the project from him to save his face in the community. But things came to a ridiculous level when he got to the roofing level and to his chagrin discovered that the wood his uncle bought were either disused from an old building or not meant for roofing because they were eaten by worms. The young man became so frustrated that he took off the whole wood, took his annual vacation and came to the village. He ordered wood from the nearest town, supervised the roofing project, saw to its completion before he left. The story became a reference point in the community of not how to involve relations in your building project especially those you can’t manage. Like I suggested earlier, the idea is not to involve them at all but to be on the safe side they should only come in at not so critical a stage in order not to upstage the entire process. The complexity involved in a building process is too serious to be left to emotions and mundane attachments!

‘The idea is not to involve them at all but to be on the safe side they should only come in at not so critical a stage in order not to upstage the entire process. The complexity involved in a building process is too serious to be left to emotions and mundane attachments!’

Right to reply I would like to thank you for this well thought - out article in today’s The Nation newspaper. One thing you must know is that some family members are so wicked that carrying them along in this kind of project can make the whole thing not to see the light of day. They never want to see anything good coming from their relatives, especially those living away from home. Thank you all the same. From: •Contributions, questions? e-mail:





‘Electricity workers’ strike uncalled for’ T

HE Ministry of Power has said electricity workers have no justification to go on strike considering the Essential Services Act of 1984. The Special Adviser to the Minister on Media, Mr C. Don Adinuba, who spoke to our correspondent on the issue, gave reasons the workers should not implement their planned strike. The workers of the unbundled Power Holding Company of Nigeria (PHCN) comprising the National Union of Electricity Employees (NUEE) and Senior Staff Association of Electricity and Allied Companies (SSAEAC), had planned to go on a nationwide strike following non-implementation of the agreement it reached with the government. The two labour groups had written the Minister of Labour and Productivity, Chief Emeka Wogu, on

Stories by Emeka Ugwuanyi Assistant Editor

their displeasure over the nonchalant attitude of the government in tackling unresolved labour related issues in the power sector, which include 50 per cent salary increase, regularisation of casual workers, scrapping of the PHCN headquarters, sack of top PHCN officials without following due process and biometric verification exercise of members of staff of PHCN, which the result is yet to be out. The labour unions and the government started their second round of negotiations yesterday. On the planned strike, Adinuba said the country is governed by rule of law and that industrial actions should be carried out by rule of law and not by recklessness. The Essential Services Act, he noted, was also recently validated by the

Supreme Court. He also noted that industrial action can only be carried out by workers if there is trade dispute between the employer and the employee but in the case of electricity workers and the government, there is no trade dispute.

Besides, he noted that there are laid down procedure to carry out industrial action and the electricity workers don’t observe this procedure. He said how can workers that deliver essential services to the country, decide to go strike at a period of the year when the weather is hottest.

Should such strike be in the interest of Nigerians they pledged to serve? The decision to go strike and shut in the power that is being generated is an act of recklessness and the idea should be discarded because a lot of people cannot afford a generator.

Vigeo Shipping acquires new vessel IGEO Shipping, a subsidiary of Vigeo Group has acquired a Platform Supply Vessel (PSV) to facilitate exploration and production activities in the country’s deep water oil fields. The Chief Executive Officer of Vigeo Shipping, Mr Farouq Olayinka, who made this known in a statement, said the vessel is expected to leave Europe this weekend to sail into Nigeria in the first week of May. He said Vigeo Shipping, which has been working with Shell Petroleum Development Company (SPDC) and other International Oil Companies (IOCs) since 2004, is actualising its goal to own a fleet of PSV, Anchor Handlers Tug Supply (AHTS) and other OSVs to support the oil and gas industry operations, particularly in the deep offshore segment of the Gulf of Guinea. The company had in August 2007 invested $14.5 million to acquire an AHTS vessel christened “Vigeo Olufunke” to facilitate exploration and production activities – thus emerging the first Nigerian company to have 100 per cent ownership of an asset for deep water operations. Olayinka said the new vessel christened “Vigeo Adebola,” will help consolidate the local content policy, which the company has


been championing in the oil and gas sector that has been dominated by foreigners. Vigeo Shipping’s journey in the deep water oil operations began in 2003 when Vigeo Limited, a wholly Nigerian company entered into a joint venture with Farstad ASA of Norway, the world’s third largest supplier of AHTS and PSV in the deep water segment to form VigeoFarstad Shipping Ltd, a limited liability Nigerian company with 60 per cent Vigeo and 40 per cent Farstad interest. The terms of the agreement included a Ship Operations Agreement (SOA) between Farstad and Vigeo Limited, and a Bareboat Charter Party Agreement between P/R IOS, a 100per cent subsidiary of Farstad and VigeoFarstad Shipping Limited. Later the management of Messrs Farstad ASA Norway took the decision to pull out of Nigeria owing to increased agitation in the Niger Delta. Consequently, Vigeo acquired their 40 per cent interest in the JV along with the acquisition of the vessel. This was a proof that there are credible and competent Nigerian companies, who are ready to take on increasing commitments to service the oil and gas industry. Vigeo Shipping has an excellent safety record and commitment to the host communities, he added.

•From left: Engr. Edwin Udezi, Technical Assistance to the Group Executive Director, Gas and Power NNPC; Engr. Saidu Mohammed, Managing Director, Nigeria Gas Company and Group Executive Director, Gas and Power, Dr. David Ige during the tour of Olorunshogo Power Plant.

Total monitors oil field to protect communities


OTAL Exploration and Production Nigeria Limited (TEPNG) said it had put in place measures to ensure that a facility flaw on its oil mining lease (OML) 58, doesn’t deteriorate or affect the environment and communities negatively. A statement by the company and signed by Francisca Makolo, said on April 3, TEPNG was alerted about some water and gas resurgence points, observed in an uninhabited area close to its onshore Obite gas production facilities, on the OML 58 licence. The company said OML 58 is a concession operated by TEPNG on behalf of the Nige-

rian National Petroleum Corporation, NNPC/Total joint venture in Ogba/Ndoni/Egbema Local Government Area (ONELGA), Rivers State. “This event is the likely consequence of a technical incident that occurred during drilling operations on the same site, on March 20. There have been no injuries. Production from the Obite gas plant has been stopped and wells shut down. Since the beginning, a special task force has been in place with the support of well-control experts in order to implement technical solutions to resolve the situation,” the company added. The statement said TEPNG is working in close collaboration

‘Infrastructure stalls work on Lekki Trade Zone’


HE Management of Lekki Free Trade Zone (LFTZ) has said that poor infrastructure may delay the take-off of the $80 million (N12.6 billion) project. The Managing Director of LFTZ, Mr Chen Xiaoxing, disclosed this and identified some of the challenges facing the zone to include lack of offshore banking facilities, poor power supply and lack of access roads to other parts of the state. The LFTZ boss said the zone, which is seated on 16,500 hectares of land southeast of Lagos, was started in 2004 as a vehicle to fully

utilise investment and tourism potentials of Lagos. Xiaoxing said that the zone was confronted with lots of problems, among which are the land ownership tussle that has just been settled. He said that the zone had capacity to accommodate over 70 companies, but only six companies are currently on ground. “The zone is confronted with lots of infrastructure challenges, which hinder completion and prospect of the zone. But we hope that when both the Federal and State Governments come to our aid, all the issues will be addressed. “The land compensation issue

confronting the zone is gradually being resolved. `The zone is also confronted with issues of incentives payable to the zone by some government agencies,” he said. The LFTZ chief that the zone had signed business agreements with many companies and that more than 100 new companies had signified interest to invest in the zone. He said the Federal Government wanted the LFTZ to go into operation before 2013, but the works would be completed in the next 10 to 15 years. “The Federal Government is more interested in the technology

that will be brought into the country through the zone. Jobs will be made available when it begins operation and investments will come with the free trade zone,” Xiaoxing said. He appealed to the government to address all these challenges before the completion of the civil works. The LFTZ boss highlighted advantages of investing in the zone to include access to the largest market in the West African sub-region. He said other benefits of the zone include generating profit through optimum use of Nigeria’s abundant natural resources such as oil, natural gas, timber, rubber, cocoa, gum arabic, sesame seeds and fruits.

with representatives of the Egi community who reside in the vicinity of the facilities and also with the Nigerian authorities. “All necessary means to ensure the protection of nearby communities and personnel and to limit the impact on the environment have been immediately mobilised. Strict monitoring of the environment is ongoing and a safety perimeter has been established. Domestic water analysis and air quality controls are being processed on a daily basis and have not revealed any presence of hydrocarbons or toxic elements. “Since March 20, federal and local authorities have been informed of the evolution of the situation. TEPNG reiterates its regrets regarding the trouble the situation has caused and will continue to communicate with stakeholders, including meetings and forums with the communities and regular briefing to the authorities. TEPNG thanks the neighbouring communities for their co-operation and understanding of the situation. “TEPNG wishes to express its gratitude to the ONELGA leadership and people of Egi communities for their understanding, co-operation and support. TEPNG re-emphasises that the main priority is the safety and well-being of the people and environment as it seeks to implement technical solutions to the problem at hand.”




Govt begins electronic monitoring of fuel distribution


HE Petroleum Equalisation Fund Management Board (PEFMB) said it has started monitoring distribution of petroleum products electronically from this month. The General Manager, Customer Services, PEFMB, Mr. Goddy Nnadi, said the electronic monitoring of fuel distribution project tagged “Project Aquila,” which had been underway in the last one year, started with about 10,000 trucks selected from some depots. Nnadi said that the Board would give priority to marketers who had keyed into the project in terms of payment. “We have commenced the project across the country last week, although the pilot scheme commenced since March last year. Our objective is to ascertain the number of trucks adequately bridging petroleum products so as to determine payment through electronic de-

By Emeka Ugwuanyi Assistant Editor

vices,” he said. Nnadi said that the agency had trained and deployed its officials to more than 50 depots operated by the PEFMB to implement the project. “All our partners, especially tanker owners and operators are registering and tagging their vehicles,” he added. He said the project would entail using the latest Radio Frequency Identification (RFID) tag, which would be administered by credible companies at no cost to operators. He noted that the new electronic monitoring would bring more efficiency and effectiveness in determining the volume of petroleum products bridged across the country and this would also facilitate payments. “The new project is expected to enhance monitoring of distribu-

tion of petroleum products and speedy up processing and payments of marketers’ claims. Project Aquila will bring about speed, efficiency, transparency and accuracy in products movement and claims settlement. “In the past, processing of claims was done manually with the physical movement of files from one location to another, which caused delays and impacted on the marketers’ businesses adversely,” he added. Nnadi said that movement of petroleum products were not monitored in the past, thereby making it difficult to either confirm or certify deliveries at designated depot areas. “The new solution will result in faster processing of claims, faster payment, transparency and easy release of funds to support marketers. Aquila is a Latin word for eagle, a bird renowned for its strength, speed and swiftness,” Nnadi said.

PETAN raises 2,000 delegates for OTC


HE Petroleum Technology Association of Nigeria (PETAN), said it has raised 2,000 delegates to attend the 2012 edition of the Offshore Technology Conference (OTC) scheduled to take place in Houston, Texas from April 30 to May 3, 2012. PETAN co-ordinates the Nigerian delegation to the conference and as usual this year’s edition is being coordinated by the association with the support of the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC). The association said it has consolidated the achievement it recorded last year when Nigeria placed the fifth largest representation of over 60 participating countries. It said: “The OTC is the premier gathering of professionals and opinion leaders in the global oil and gas industry and provides excellent opportunity for positive portrayal and promotion of the huge potential of Nigeria and the Nigerian oil and gas industry. “The conference also provides a unique platform for close interaction between leading International and Nigerian oil companies, industry executives, government policy makers and political leaders, to share ideas on the Nigerian oil industry in a relaxed and conducive atmosphere.” Information gathered from 2012 OTC committee of PETAN

revealed that several Nigerian companies, including the NNPC would be part of a robust contingent to the conference to underscore the dynamism and potential of Nigeria’s Petroleum Industry. “Again this year, PETAN with the backing of the NNPC, is the coordinator of the Nigerian participation at the OTC 2012 to ensure success of the programme of activities starting with the opening of Nigerian Pavilion on April 30, 2012,” the committee said. The activities for participants from Nigeria show that the luncheon/panel session would take place on May 1, 2012 at the Crowne Plaza by 11.30 am and pre-award dinner cocktail at JW Marriott Hotel by 6pm on the same day. On Wednesday May 2, Nigerian companies and outstanding individuals will receive various awards during the Nigeria Awards dinner by 6.30 pm. This would be followed with a joint technical workshop by PETAN/ANPPA/Nigerian Content Development and Management Board workshop on May 2 at Crowne Plaza-Reliant Park. The activities of this year’s edition will end with a golf tournament at Sweetwater Country Club, Sugarland on Thursday, May 3, 2012. PETAN is an association of Nigerian technical oilfield service companies in the upstream and downstream sectors of the oil industry. FG starts monitoring distribution of petrol electronically

Noblelink Energy holds confab in USA

N •Publicity Secretary,Nigerian Association of Petroleum Explorationists (NAPE),Olusola Bakare (left) and Chairman, NAPE’s University Assistance Programme (UAP), Dr. Wasiu Odufisan at a briefing on its forthcoming miniconference for tertiary institutions in Lagos.


OBLELINK Energy, an international strategic business liaison company said it would hold a two-day conference tagged: “Angola, Nigeria and Ghana: Strategic expansion, opportunities, and networking in the energy sector,” at the Crowne Plaza Hotel, close to Reliant Park, Houston Texas, United States of America (USA). The conference, which holds May 2 to 3, will run simultaneously with the 2012 Offshore

NAPE okays curriculum review, geosciences’ funding

HE Nigerian Association of Petroleum Explorationists (NAPE) has expressed its approval for review of curriculum and funding of geosciences’ education in the universities in order to help revert and improve the falling standards and subsequently enhance the oil and gas industry. The association’s President, Dr. Mayowa Afe, stated this at a briefing on its forthcoming Sixth miniconference for tertiary Institutions in Nigeria. The confab is slated for April 26-29 at the ObafemiAwolowo University (OAU), Ile Ife, Osun State. Afe noted that the curriculum in the tertiary institutions has become obsolete, saying it no longer reflects current realities and developments in geosciences. Consequently, he said it hard become irrelevant to the present needs of the oil and gas industry. Besides, he stated that lack of adequate funding for geosciences education in the country has also been responsible for the poor quality of training available for both students and lecturers in the universities. According to him, if the current

By Bidemi Bakare

state of geosciences education is to be reversed, there is need to raise the consciousness of the government to these yawning needs and requirements. He said: “The current curriculum for teaching geosciences in our universities is not in tune with current developments in the industry. It is obvious that it is no longer relevant to the needs of today. For instance, when an industry operator interviews a geoscience graduate, it would discover that the graduate is not able to meet the purpose for which he is to be hired. When the operator gives seismic graph for interpretation, it wants to know where the well can be put to get a prospect. “Quite honestly, the operator would be disappointed to get anything encouraging from this prospective employee as the university was unable to give him such teachings. In most cases even the lecturers do not know some of

these things. So tell me how would such graduate know? Therefore, I think there is the need to review the curriculum to reflect current realities.” “The problem of funding is another serious issue. Right now the quality of lecturers teaching geosciences is something to be concerned about. For instance, no lecturer goes for overseas training as no university is able to sponsor such trip. And if you are employed in any company now the first thing they do is to train you for the next two years. You are not going to do anything rather than moving from one country to another going through several trainings in all the departments of Exploration & Production (E&P) until you are deemed ready to be assigned to a portfolio. So, obviously, the training, funding and equipment are lacking. During our time we had a microscope for one person but now we have one microscope for about 100 students. Most students are only able to see the microscope when they are about to leave the university. So, there is need to raise the conscious-

ness of the government to know that we are missing the point in the area of funding and curriculum for geosciences education.” On the forthcoming event, the chairman of the association’s University Assistance Programme (UAP), Dr. Wasiu Odufisan, said the association is collaborating with the Department of Geology of OAU to deliberate at the conference on ways to improve the quality of geoscience education in the country. Odufisan stated that the miniconference with the theme Emerging Concepts in Geoscience Education targets 8001000 student participants from 40 universities around the country and will provide opportunity for student presenters to learn and improve both their technical and non- technical talents. He added that the gathering will also provide an avenue for them to learn effective communication skills, solicit technical feedback from peers and develop a network for geoscience collaboration.

Technology Conference (OTC), the world’s foremost oil and gas conference that holds annually Reliant Park, Houston, Texas. The event is the industry’s centre point of new developments in the fields of drilling, exploration, production, and environmental protection and offers strategic business networking and meetings for energy companies in across the world. President/Chief Executive Officer of NobleLink Energy, Rugba Onosode Alaka, said the conference is aimed at providing African energy companies with the opportunity of acquiring first-hand information on how they can establish business relationships with international energy companies. She said that during the conference, participating companies would obtain effective resource management tools and techniques for company executives; receive effective solutions on how to secure intellectual property in the energy industry; and learn the fundamentals of oil spill mitigation and its inherent opportunities. Participants would also be exposed to issues that bother on identifying and making right investment decisions, he said. Mrs. Alaka noted that in addition to coaching participating companies on establishing and managing business relationships with international energy companies, the conference would also provide direction to participating companies on how they can grow their businesses through partnerships and coach them on how to successfully embark on expansion. She added the that company’s sole aim is to connect North America to Africa and is to provide services to energy companies in the areas of procurement, legal services and project management.




‘How to achieve steady, sustainable By Uche Aneke



HE power sector, undoubtedly, remains central in achieving the nation’s economic growth and developmental aspirations. Unfortunately, this sector is in dire need of growth, expansion and development. Government’s inability to provide minimum acceptable international standards of electricity service in terms of reliability, accessibility and availability for the past four decades makes the need to get it right in the power sector more urgent. It is urgent if Nigeria must achieve its ambition of belonging to the 20 largest economies in the world by 2020. It is equally urgent because Nigerians have waited enough to enjoy steady and uninterrupted power supply. There is the need to reduce the cost of doing business in the country in order to attract new investment through the provision of quality and dependable power supply to the economy for industrial, commercial and socio domestic activities. This also brings to the fore the need for improvement in efficiency of distribution, generation and transmission network which has been in comatose state. These necessities are properly captured in the 2005 Electric Power Sector (ESPR) Act and the 2010 Road Map for Power Sector Reform as enunciated by the administration of President Goodluck Jonathan. These reforms in the power sector recognise private sector participation against government monopoly as the transformation wheel to drive the process of change in the power sector. Per-


haps a pivotal aspect of the power reform is the privatisation of 17 out of the 18 companies created out of the PHCN, the 18th being the Transmission Company of Nigeria, which remains in the hand of government but to be managed by a competent private firm. The success recorded in the privatisation and liberalisation of the telecoms industry is an eye opener to the economic revolution that will be unleashed in the power sector which is bigger if we get it right. More than $12 billion of investment was attracted into the country’s economy from the telecoms industry in the last five years. At least, $100 billion is required to turn around the country’s capacity in power generation, transmission and distribution for Nigeria to meet its target of becoming one of the 20 largest economies by 2020 and generate 40,000 mega watts of electricity necessary to drive the economy. The projected amount of investment to meet domestic power system expansion by 2030 is estimated at about $262 billion. Facts and figures abound to show that government’s efforts to reform the power sector and achieve power stability are encouraging. The reforms have enjoyed the unqualified support of the Nigerian people and the international community. The Ministry of Power and related agencies are daily inundated by local and foreign businesses very keen to participate in the on going power sector reform. Only recently, the Federal Government constituted a six member team to negotiate with Manitoba Hydro International of Canada which emerged the winner with a bid offer of $23,715,744 as management contractor for the Transmission Company of Nigeria (TCN).The Management contract is designed to achieve among others reduced electricity losses during transmission; provide for the achievement of certain predetermined targets that would improve grid security and general performance. A Brazilian company for instance, has offered to buy the Federal government’s stake in the 17 Power Holding Company of Nigeria (PHCN) successor companies for $100billion. Another world class company the Essar of India, pledged to invest $2 billion in

power supply’ Nigeria’s power sector if the government continues with the reforms. Power generation, which used to be between 2,500MW and 2,800MW in 2010 has been raised to between 3800MWand 4,400MW in 2012. This addition of over 1000 MW to the national grid was largely attained through plant recovery. However, inadequate gas supply and reduced water volumes and sabotage in the system seem to undermine this success at the moment. There is every confidence that government will generate up to 6000MW by December this year and raise it further to 10,000MW by 2013, to 13,000MW by 2014 and to15,000MW by 2015. Recently, President Goodluck Jonathan approved the building of 765kv super grid for the transmission infrastructure as part of the modernisation, upgrading and expansion process. The distribution network is also being rehabilitated as well as the expansion and construction of new power stations and the encouragement of independent power supply. Government is also making efforts to complete various dam projects abandoned across the country so as to generate electricity from them, and diversify the country’s power sources with the proposed estab-

lishment of three coal fired plants in Enugu, Gombe and Kogi states. Despite repeated assurances by government that the reform would open enormous employment and business opportunities like in the telecommunications sector following its liberalisation, trade unionists have insisted that it would lead to job losses in the power sector. Only recently the General Secretary of the National Union of Electricity Employees (NUEE), Comrade Joe Ajaero, embarked on campaign of calumny and blackmail on the person of the Minister of Power, Prof. Barth Nnaji, in an effort to tarnish his sterling performance. Ajaero’s grievance was anchored on the minister’s decision to disengage top executives of the PHCN over the recent power shortages in the country. Ironically, the same people Ajaero had earlier opposed their appointments. Regrettably, the union which Ajaero represents, has been the greatest beneficiary of Nnaji’s reforms in the power sector. For instance, the minister played a key role in the payment of N57 billion to PHCN employees as monetised benefits, seven years after they were denied the benefits. He accepted to increase the PHCN staff wage bill by 50 per cent as an incentive for greater productivity.

He accepted to convert some 11,000 PHCN casual workers to permanent staff with retroactive effect and was instrumental to the setting aside of certain percentage of shares in 17 out of 18 PHCN successor companies slated for privatisation for the exclusive purchase of PHCN employees. It is on record that Nnaji on assumption of office successfully raised the monthly PHCN revenue from N11.8 billion to N15.6 billion with a commitment to raise it to N22.5 billion. Furthermore , at a recent meeting in Lagos with chief executives of distribution companies, Nnaji directed them to search for ‘new and creative’ ways to recover the N100 billion owed PHCN by customers across the country. Rather than appreciating these, Ajaero and some of his acolytes chose to engage the minister in an unprovoked attack probably to diminish his rising profile or to discredit government’s efforts aimed at attaining steady and sustainable power supply in Nigeria. It is, however, hoped that as negotiations continue between the electricity workers and the government on amicable and peaceful privatisation of Power Holding of Nigeria (PHCN) both parties will see reasons to allow the present efforts to liberalise the power sector succeed to the mutual benefits of both parties. •Aneke is the Technical Adviser to the Minister of Power

OPEC’s oil production highest in March

RGANISATION Of Petroleum Exporting Countries’ (OPEC)’s crude oil production rose to the most in more than three years in March as Iraq boosted output and offset a decline in Iranian supply, according to the International Energy Agency. According to Bloomberg, the 12 members of OPEC pumped 31.43 million barrels a day of crude last month, up from a revised 31.29 million in February, the Parisbased IEA said in its monthly Oil Market Report. That exceeds the group’s 30 million output ceiling set in December. “Increased output by Iraq, Libya, Kuwait and the United Arab Emirates more than offset declines in Iran, Angola and Nigeria,” the IEA said. The advance counters “exceptionally reduced non-OPEC supplies” in Sudan, Syria, Yemen, the North Sea, Canada and Australia, the agency said. Saudi Arabia, the world’s largest crude exporter, maintained production close to a three-decade peak at 10 million barrels a day in March, unchanged from the previous month, the agency said.

“The kingdom is well placed to meet incremental global refiner demand from May onwards after April’s seasonal low in throughputs,” the IEA said. “Output is expected to trend higher over the next few months judging by customer nominations and tanker loading forecasts.” Iraqi production advanced by 220,000 barrels a day to 2.84 million barrels a day in March, the highest since May 2001, the agency said. The nation’s exports may drop in April because of a payment dispute between Iraqi authorities and the Kurdistan Regional Government, and after the bombing of a pipeline to Ceyhan, Turkey, this month, the IEA said. Libyan output rose to 1.32 million barrels a day in March compared with 1.29 million in February, according to the IEA’s estimate. “Production levels have essentially reached a plateau for now, with much needed maintenance and repair work planned over the next several months,” the agency said. OPEC’s “effective” spare capacity declined to an estimated 2.54 million barrels a day in March from 2.75 million the previous month.

•Power transmisssion facility

Lagos households turn to charcoal as kerosene of selling kerosene diANY residents in Lagos scarcity persists impact rectly to the common man on the have resorted to the use


charcoal as scarcity of kerosene bites harder in parts of the metropolis. According to the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN), households interviewed on the issue said the price of kerosene was outrageous in few places where the product was available. Mrs. Adeola Hassan, a banker, said the product was selling for between N148 and N157 per litre, depending on the location and fuel station. She said the product was selling for as high as N170 per litre at surface tanks in some places. “NNPC and Capital Oil and Gas should explain to Nigerians where they have taken the kerosene to. We do not see kerosene to buy, either at filling stations or at the local government council areas,’’ she said. Last year, the NNPC and Capital Oil and Gas, initiated a project

tagged ‘Kero-Direct’ through which the partnership sold kerosene directly to households at the official pump price of N50 and promised that they would continue to flood the market with the product. However, the project was like a flash in the pan as it didn’t survive till end of last year. Many people have expressed disappointment over the scheme saying it had zero impact. Mr Adamu Badmus, who is an IT consultant, advised the Federal Government to be more proactive in the distribution of the product. He said the government should provide enough allocation to the major and independent marketers to ensure wider coverage of sales rather than embarking on propaganda by engaging in selective selling points. He said: “We have not felt the

street under the Kero-Direct scheme. I think the process should be probed. Kerosene is meant to be sold at N50 per litre but now it sells for between N150 and N168 in many filling stations, this is total hardship to the people.” Mrs. Agbeke Dauda, a kerosene dealer in Shomolu area of Lagos, told NAN that the scarcity and high price had forced her to adjust her own price. She said that the product, which was sold for N100 per litre before, had gone up to N185. “It is no longer news that the scarcity of kerosene is biting harder because of indiscriminate diversion of the product by the selected marketers,” she said. There was a long queue of consumers waiting to buy kerosene at the NNPC mega station in Falomo, Lagos at the weekend.




Transmission Company instals 60MVA power transformer in Ikorodu

•Egbin loses 440MW

HE Transmission Company of Nigeria (TCN), one of the successor companies of the Power Holding Company of Nigeria (PHCN), said it has installed a 60MVA power transformer in Ikorodu Business Unit to boost power supply. The company has tasked its engineers and technicians working on the project to ensure that installation of the 60 MVA transformer is completed and energised by April 21. A statement by Mrs. Celestina Oshin, Principal Manager, Public Affairs, TCN said the aim of the installation of the 60MVA in Ikorodu axis was to stop the massive power load shedding which has affected the socio-economic activities of the people in the area. Speaking at the transmission substation in lkorodu where the 60 MVA transformers is being installed, Mr. Olusola Akinniranye, chief executive officer, TCN said that the management of TCN immediately commenced work on the installation of the brand new 60MVA power transformer to replace the 45 MVA power transformers that developed fault on March 30, this year. According to the statement, Akinniranye while appealing to the people of lkorodu for their patience and understanding, said: “with the new and bigger 60MVA power transformer, more electric-


ity power will be delivered to Ikorodu. The transformer will guaranteed better quality and reliable of electricity to the area, he added. Akinniranye was accompanied by the General Manger (Transmission), Lagos Region, Mr. Oyeleke Adeoye and the Assistant General Manager (Transmission Services), Corporate Headquarters Mr Timothy Uwah Meanwhile, Egbin Power Generation Company has lost 440MW of electricity as two units of the six turbine power station, which generates 220mw each collapsed last week. A source at the company confirmed the collapse, which has worsened the already bad supply situation and the worst hit area is Lagos, which consumes more power than any other part of the country. The source said due to the collapsed two units coupled with inadequate gas supply, the electricity supply situation has really worsened across the country. Poor power supply has affected the industrial, commercial and residential consumers who had in the last two months had depended heavily on generators because even when the supply comes, it is often followed by series of outages,

which may harm production in industrial and commercial concerns. However, the Chief Executive Officer, Egbin Power Station, Mr Mike Uzoigwe, confirmed that the

collapsed units have been fixed and are running. He said station presently generates 1,080 megawatts and that the management is working to bring the capacity on stream.

Egbin has six units that generate 220 megawatts each giving a combined generation capacity of 1320MW. The Ministry of Power had attributed drop in generation to inadequate gas supply and low water levels at hydro power stations.

•Oil platform

Strategic statements for biofuels development in Nigeria


HE Future of Energy Policy,” Foreign Affairs, July/August 2003 “Oil and motor vehicle use are responsible for enormous hidden economic and health costs due to environmental damage.Economists term these costs ‘externalities’ because they are not included in the private costs of transportation.” —Office of Technology Assessment, 1994 “Over the last decade, the death rate for lung disease has risen faster than that of any of the top leading causes of death. Tens of millions of Americans live in areas not meeting at least one federal air quality standard. The health costs of air pollution are estimated to be $50 billion each year.” —American Lung Association 2001 “Human mortality and morbidity due to air pollution accounts for over three-quarters of the total environmental cost and could be as high as $182 billion annually.” —Union of Concerned Scientists 1984 “America can be the innovation engine that changes the course of history by creating crucial new clean-energy technologies, 21st century jobs, and a democratising force that provides solutions to our greatest needs.” —Richard E. Smalley, the late scientist, visionary, and nanotechnology leader determined that the number one and most pressing challenge facing humanity was access to clean energy. “But in the interests of our national security, our climate, and our pocket books, we should now move together as a nation – indeed as a community of oil importer nations – to destroy, not oil of course, but oil’s strategic role in transportation as quickly and as thoroughly as possible. The national security reasons to destroy oil’s strategic role are substantial. Over two-thirds of the world’s proven reserves of conventional oil lie in the turbulent states of the Persian Gulf, as does much of the oil’s international infrastructure. Increasing dependence on this part of the world for our transportation

By Olaoluwa Toyin Bamikole

needs is subject to a wide range of perils. Just over a year ago, in response to bin Laden’s many calls for attack on such infrastructure, al Qaeda attacked Abcaiq, the world’s largest oil production facility, in northeastern Saudi Arabia. Had it succeeded in destroying , e.g., the sulfur-clearing towers there through which about two-thirds of Saudi crude passes – say with a simple mortar attack – it would have succeeded in driving the price of oil to over $100 per barrel for many months, perhaps close to bin Laden’s goal of $200 per barrel. What we need is a transportation fuel that is as secure as possible, as clean as possible and as cheap as possible. Today, oil meets none of these needs.” —Former CIA Director James Woolsey, Member of the National Energy Commission, before the Senate Finance Committee, April 19, 2007 “Study by Northwestern University concluded that ethanol is responsible for more than 195,000 domestic jobs and increases farm income by $4.5 billion a year. The

ethanol industry adds over $450 million to state tax receipts and improves the US trade balance by $2 billion yearly. This is all done at net savings of $3.6 billion a year to the Federal Government.” —Gov. Terry Branstad (R-IA), August 8, 1997 “The Renewable Fuel Standard (EPAct 2005) would ... create more than 200,000 jobs nationwide and boost US farm income by $6 billion per year.” —US Senator Chuck Hagel, (R-NE) Feb. 14, 2003 “Carbon monoxide is a colourless, odorless gas that is produced as a result of incomplete burning of carbon-containing fuels. Exposure to carbon monoxide reduces the blood’s ability to carry oxygen. Carbon monoxide exposures especially affects unborn babies, infants, and people with anemia or a history of heart disease.” — American Lung Association The above were the visionary statements made by several stakeholders in the United States from one administration to another and at different times, all resonating the same direction on the clamor for a clean/renewable biofuels energy.

Among all the renewables, biofuels development is capable of creating the sizeable employment (direct, indirect and induce) in Nigeria. Nigeria must develop various biofuels programs responsibly in such a way that it will not lead to unintended negative consequences such as negative effects on food crops. With good and formidable policy and public awareness, biofuels development will not threaten food security in Nigeria. Other renewable like solar and wind can be synergised with biofuels (e.g ethanol and biodiesel) in a complementary way. Biofuels and biogas development are not intermittent as solar as you have solar energy when you have sun and wind energy when you have wind. The constraint in hydro is when the water level is low. So every renewable energy has its own constraints/ challenges. So is the biofuels development. What we need is a transportation and cooking fuel that guarantee energy security/mix as much as possible, as environmentally clean as possible and as cheap as possible. Today, oil meets none of these needs but biofuels do. Nigeria must invest in alterna-

tive and renewable fuels and improve its automobile fuel efficiency because expanded oil production by way of new refineries and upgrade of the existing three refineries in Port Harcourt, Kaduna and Warri alone will not cut down the country’s dependence on oil, will not create energy mix, will not sustain the environment, will not create the employment envisioned by 2020 and will never be cheap. Tensions in the Middle East, excessive financial speculation in energy markets, increase in the world population triggering need for more energy from oil and soaring oil demand from both developed and developing countries are driving up oil prices worldwide. That is why we have to make sure that we don’t just focus on petrol production and its derivatives alone. We must focus on fuel efficiency and the alternative sources of energies, such as BIOFUELS. So, our legislators must review this warmly and take position for the country. •Bamikole is CEO/ Biofuels Consultant, Zenith Agroethanol Nigeria Limited. •Concluded

Energy prices

Domestic prices of petroleum products

Energy & Oil Prices OIL ($/bbl)










































PRICE* CHANGE % CHANGE TIME Nymex Crude Future Dated Brent Spot WTI Cushing Spot OIL (¢/gal)

102. 83 121. 58 102 83

-0.81 -0.18 0.81

-0. 78% 0. 15% -0. 78%

04/13 04/13 04/13

PRICE* CHANGE % CHANGE TIME Nymex Heating Oil Future 317.46 Nymex RBOB Gasoline Future 334.61 NATURAL GAS ($/MMBtu)

0.83 1.06

0. 26% 0. 32%

04/13 04/13

PRICE* CHANGE % CHANGE TIME Nymex Henry Hub Future 1.98 Henry Hub Spot 1.86 New York City Gate Spot 2.03 ELECTRICITY ($/megawatt hour) PRICE*

0.00 -0.02 -0.03

-0.10% -1.06% -1.46%

04/13 04/13 04/13


Mid-Columbia, firm on-peak, spot 14.92 2.55 -20.61% Palo Verde, firm on-peak, spot 21.13 0.12% - 0.56% BLOOMBERG, FIRM ON-PEAK, DAY AHEAD SPOT/ERCOT HOUSTON 30.00 -0.31 -1.02% • Bloomberg Oil Buyers Guide

04/13 04/13 04/13




Customs, importers, agents trade blame over TIN policy

Ghana Ports chief praises Fed Govt’s reforms By Oluwakemi Dauda, Maritime Correspondent

THE Ghana Ports and Harbours Authority has commended the Federal Government for repositioning the nation’s maritime industry to meet international standard. It said the ports concessioning programme of the Federal Government was good and that Ghana was working on its adoption. It praised the Nigerian Ports Authority (NPA), for embarking on the dredging and taking a bold step in removing critical wrecks on the nation’s territorial waters to attract bigger vessels and reducing costs. Speaking with The Nation at the NPA’s head office in Lagos last week, the Director of Ports, Tema, Mr Richard Anamoo, who said he came to Nigeria to share ideas on how to solve the numerous problems facing the maritime sector on the coastline, said the efforts of the Federal Government and NPA in developing port infrastructure deserve kudos. He, however, identified piracy as one of the greatest challenges confronting the sector, adding that its eradication needs joint effort. The removal of critical wrecks by NPA from the waterways, he said, would ensure safety of navigation, marine environmental protection and maritime security.

Group wants Coast Guard established

• Lagos port


HE new Taxpayers’ Identi-fication Number (TIN) policy introduced by the Nigeria Customs Service to generate more revenue for the Federal Government is causing a rift between Customs, importers and their clearing agents at the Lagos port. Last week, some importers and their clearing agents alleged that they were unable to access the Federal Inland Revenue Service (FIRS) website to declare their consignments waiting to be cleared from the ports. The policy is a product of the FIRS, adopted by Customs to assist importers and their clearing agents to make correct declaration and payments for their goods. But investigation has, however, revealed that some importers and their agents are unhappy with the policy because of their inability to obtain the necessary information on how to find access to the FIRS’website and make declaration through the server. When The Nation visited the

Stories by Oluwakemi Dauda, Maritime Correspondent

Tin Can port last Friday, over 20 importers and 50 clearing agents complained that they were unable to access the FIRS website and make proper declaration of their consignments waiting to be cleared from the ports. One of them is the Managing Director, Motor Solution, Mr Sunday Oyinlola, who said they are not happy over their inability to log on to the server and make their declaration. Another is the Chairman, Association of Nigerian Licensed Custom Agents (ANLCA), Tin Can Island Port Chapter, Mr Farinto Kayode, who said the clearing agents felt betrayed by the action of the Customs because majority of them, who are willing to log on to the server and make genuine declarations of their goods were unable to do so, because of the failure of the FIRS server, which is one of the requirements for cargo clearance from the port.

“The FIRS server is not working, they promised to do something about it, but up till now, 99 per cent of our members have not been able to register. And for Customs to start blocking licences of our members over the issue, we felt betrayed. “It is not the failure of our members, for people to key into the website of the FIRS. It is not working and we have told the ACG, ASYCUDA, who said, he is aware of it and that they are going to do something about it, but up till now nothing has been done,” Farinto said. Explaining the workability of TIN, Farinto said: “It is when you are able to access the server and get your TIN number before you can now go to Custom server and be able to register. Without the TIN number, you will not have access to Custom server”. He also denied the involvement of his members in the practice of Machine Outside (MO) and duty evasion. But a senior Customs of-

ficer, who craved anonymity, told The Nation that most of the affected importers and clearing agents were deliberately blocked by the Customs management based on their previous involvement in under declaration, under payment and other sharp practices to defraud the nation. The image maker of Customs, Tin-Can Port, Mr Chris Osunkwo, importers and their agents need to be educated on how the new policy works. He explained that under the new policy, before an importer or an agent can do business with Customs, he must have filled a form with the FIRS, submit it and get registered with a number before logging on to the website and making a declaration. “You must register before logging on to the website. The website is not abstract. It is one of the measures adopted by the government to ensure that the citizens pay the required tax to it and generate more revenue for the rapid development of the country,” he said.

Stakeholders flay Customs autonomy Bill


OME stakeholders have condemned the proposed bill seeking to make the Customs Service independent of the Federal Ministry of Finance. Citing the structures in countries, such as Australia, Bulgaria, New Zealand and the United Kingdom, the stakeholders noted that the Customs Service is responsible to the minister for finance or a supervising minister. While supporting the need for the Customs Service to establish an analytical laboratory, the stakeholders noted that examining other cargoes will require collaborating with other agencies such as National Agency for Food and Drug Administration and Control (NAFDAC) and the Standards Organisation of Nigeria (SON) to provide expert-

technical competence for examination of special goods. The stakeholders said the Customs service lack the capacity to perform and coordinate analytical activity for entering volume of samples that can cause serious delays in issuing results. These include testing samples of mineral oils, milk and milk products, and analyses of inorganic products such as alloys, steel, minerals, ores, cements, plasters and meat species. The stakeholders said the service lack capacities to protect the economy, domestic market and society by controlling the movement of prohibited goods across the border, such as drugs, psychotropic substances, precursors, strategic goods, dual-use goods, dangerous substances, etc. According to the stake-

holders, the Customs laboratories and customs officers do not have all necessary devices and tools for sampling of all kinds of goods. To develop Customs laboratories, the stakeholders said the service should only establish the necessary tools of analytical equipment and methods for the purposes of tariff classification, origin of goods, illegal traffic fighting, as well as provide the necessary technical and scientific support to ensure the implementation of the strategic goal of the service in the process of its moderni-sation. They said it was in the best interest of fiscal management for the government to make the Customs the administrator and manager of its international trade activities, spanning duty valuation, payment, collection,

security and even other international trade regulations such as commodity product testing, import prohibition and waivers. The stakeholders noted the service has shown inefficiency in the collection of government revenue prompting the government to utilise scanning service providers in import duty collection and inspection. The results of Customs activities across the country, the group said put in doubt the ability of the institution to rise to the challenge that tries to eliminate malpractices. The group called on the National Assembly not to grant the Customs any autonomy, adding that the service has exhibited a very low level of competence in handling some of the functions that have been entrusted to it.

THE Seafearers Association of Nigeria has called on the Federal Government to establish a Coast Guard to tackle the rising cases of sea robbery and piracy in the nation. Its President, Captain Thomas Kemewerigha, made the call at the flag-off a two-day seminar and training on maritime piracy – a humanitarian response for West and Central Africa in Lagos. He said seafarers work without protection, and that this has made themvulnerable to sea robbers, adding that the Nigeria Navy has failed the nation in the face of the incessant attacks on his colleagues. He called on the Nigeria Maritime Administration and Safety Agency (NIMASA) and other relevant stakeholders in the maritime sector to assist seafarers in meeting their challenges. Chairman of the National Seafarers Welfare Board of Nigeria, Otunba Kunle Folarin, said the board has been able to provide free training for 21 Nigerians to be members of the International Committee on Seafarers’ Welfare (ICSW) licenceship visitors’ volunteers.

Agencies’ heads parley CHIEF executive officers of agencies regulating the practice of some professions have met in Lagos, where they agreed to form a common platform to meet regularly and share experiences. The inaugural meeting was convened by the Registrar of the Council for the Regulation of Freight Forwarding in Nigeria (CRFFN), Sir Mike Jukwe and had in attendance the helmsmen of other Practitioners’RegulatoryAgencies in Nigeria. The CRFFN Registrar said: “If our functions are similar, our challenges are too and it is for this reason that I believe we can come together to share knowledge and experience, come up with common strategies and pull resources to confront the challenges and deliver on our mandates”. He, therefore, urged his colleagues to evolve strategies that will transform Nigeria, in line with President Goodluck Jonathan’s transformation.

Union leader warns dock workers against theft By Taiwo Disu

PRESIDENT, Dock Workers Union, Apapa branch, Comrade Adewale Adeyanju, has warned dock workers not to engage in theft at the various terminals. He handed the warning at a meeting with the union members. He said henceforth, the union will not plead for any member caught in such unscrupulous act. He said: “Reports have it that we are making progress; now there is regulation. Unlike what we used to have, there is supervision of the activities of dock workers. There are officials in charge who will not allow anybody to misbehave at the terminals. “We will keep on enlightening our members to desist from any act that will affect the image of the union.” He also called on terminal operators to assist the union in training a new set of crane operators.

Eastern ports record low business BUSINESS has gone down at the Eastern Ports, which comprise Warri, Port Harcourt, Onne and Calabar. This development has been a source of concern to stakeholders in the industry. Business has remained low in spite of the huge investments by private operators, who won concessions in the various terminals and operators. They lament that many ship owners refuse to go to the eastern because of insecurity. Youths in the area have been urged to shun violence and embrace the Federal Government’s initiatives in developing the zone.



AVIATION ‘Nigeria should have a national carrier’

•L-R: Head of Operations, Maevis Limited, Mr. Hammed Alasinain, Executive Director, Mrs. Olatokunbo Fagbemi and Chief Finance Officer, Mr. Fatai Shittu at a briefing in Lagos on the termination of the firm’s contract on airports’ maintenance by the Federal Airports Authority of Nigeria (FAAN) PHOTO: ISAAC JIMOH AYODELE

Since the revocation of the concession agreement for four of the nation’s airports, the parties have been at each other’s throat. Yakubu Dati examines the issues involved

Issues in FAAN, Maevis W feud HEN the concession agreement was signed a few years ago, they were the best of business associates. The Federal Airports Authority of Nigeria (FAAN) and M aevis Limited signed the concession agreement on the firms maintenance of four of the nation’s airports without a fuss in 2007. Under the agreement. Maevis was to provide an integrated automated airport operations management scheme through the Common User Service System and Flight Information Display System for revenue management and other administrative purposes. The revocation of the contract on grounds that Maevis did not perform have strained their relationship. The issues has been obfuscated by extraneous factors because of the deliberate spins implored by one of the parties. The effort to encumber the issue with other loads not inherently contained in the matter, shows to the discerning that it is only a zigzag method to pull the wool over the eyes of the not so circumspect. FAAN Managing Director George Uriese, who has consistently insisted that the right thing be done, has drawn the ire of Maevis. But no matter the labyrinthine contours prefixed to the issue, the fact remains that there was a breach in the agreement which no party in the fray has denied and which has yet to be embedded by the other issues of illogic introduced to divert attention from the real issues. In 2007, FAAN, in order to increase its earnings while doing away with bureaucracies and other bottlenecks associated with the public service, as well as foster a healthy partnership with the private sector, entered into an agreement with Maevis to manage its revenue and facilities at four airports in the country. The major selling point of the deal was its proactiveness which is seen as an answer to the slow and inefficient system hitherto used. It is no secret that Maevis agreed to the contract terms and was to be paid certain percentages from the amount it generated. in addition, the firm was to implement the infrastructural aspect of the agreement on the four airports contained in the N4 billion contract. The concession is of two basic components which are to run con-

currently in terms of implementation and assessment. But a quick check on the workings of the agreement shows not only a lack of faith in its implementation but also a possible fraud. In the first instance, Maevis instead of working by the terms of the agreement, unilaterally increased the contract amount from N4 billion to N7 billion without variation. This, even if stripped of any suspicion would come as an innovation in contractual agreements usually entered into by two or more parties, by allowing one of the parties to adjust the terms of agreement without recourse to the other parties. Moreover, the contract was awarded as part of measures to entrench accountability and promote private sector participation to which FAAN should as the awarding party, under normal circumstances remain the benefactor that should if not dictate the pace of the contract, but at least be in the picture in case of any alteration to the terms of the initial agreement. As if that is not enough, the initial agreement to have all monies accruing from the concession to be kept in a common account so as to determine the amount to be paid as commission to Maevis was also jettisoned in favour of Maevis which immediately began to collect revenues and take custody of the monies generated by depositing it in an account exclusive to it. All of a sudden, the beneficiary of the commission became the sole determinant of what should come to it by keeping the other party in the dark as to what accrues from what should have been a collaborative effort. Out of the initial four airports to benefit from the infrastructural component of the agreement, only two had a semblance of the touch of the project while the other two were left untouched for five years as nothing was done to them. Yet, both aspects of the contract are to run simultaneously providing an even platform for implementation and evaluation. When the Minister for Aviation, Princess Stella Oduah, came in and

reviewed the contract, it was discovered that the government is being bled through a laceration it thought was benign and she revoked the agreement before more harm is done. But afraid to present the real issues to the public because of the glaring inadequacies, other issues such as what FAAN has done with the little remitted by the firm have been thrown up. Moreover, a kind of forum shopping is going on. While a certain agency of government is looking into the issue, another one would be approached to do the same ostensibly to get a favourable report, all in order to confuse matters. Maevis has perfected its antics of dragging issues and have in the process survived four Ministers of Aviation. Its strategy is to enmesh the issues in protracted legal battles until the minister is either “settled “, removed or overwhelmed. But then emerged a new girl on the block who suffers no fools: Princess Oduah She has sent clear signals that it’s business unusual. Her resilient campaign to get foreign airlines to redress the discriminatory airfare disparity has set her on collision course with the British government. Yet she trudges on unperturbed, insisting that the right thing be done! The on-going remodelling of over a dozen airports, across the country has distinguished her as a woman with a mission. •Yakubu Dati, a former Commissioner for Information in Plateau State, writes from Abuja

THE only way the Federal Government can reduce the massive capital flights out of the country and the crisis emanating from fare discrepancies among international carriers is for the Government to float a national carrier, the deputy president of Nation Union of Air Transport Employees ( NUATE), Comrade Samuelson Aturu has canvasssed. According to the Deputy President of the National Union of Air Transport Employees, until issues of setting up a naational carrier is resolved government will not be able checkmate the excesses of foreign carriers, which violate the rights of Nigerian passengers with arbitrary fares. Aturu posited that despite the various flag carriers in the country, Nigeria still needed a national carrier to protect its interest in the global aviation industry, maintaining that without this, capital flights and fare imbalances would continue unabated. He insisted that it would be difficult for the ministry of aviation and indeed the Federal Government to stamp their authorities on the mega carriers, stressing that the airlines are in business to generate revenues for themselves. But, explained that if there was a national carrier to compete on the same routes with the foreign carriers and airlift Nigerian passengers to various routes they fly to, the issue of imbalance fares and capital flights would reduce if not eradicated among the carriers. Also, he called for the establishment of a competitive commission to regulate the operations and the fares of the mega carriers operating into the country, adding that such commission exists in United Kingdom and even the United States.

Say ‘Hello Tomorrow’ with Emirates LEADING airline Emirates has launched an international brand platform and direction, tagged. “Hello Tomorrow.” “Hello Tomorrow” is about inspiring people to greet tomorrow’s unlimited potential, now. It replaces the old slogan, ‘Keep Discovering’, and a global advertising campaign has begun spreading the message around the world. It is designed to appeal to the younger generation who have embraced the digital world and are open to exciting new experiences. “Our new corporate image and global marketing campaign both underline the confidence we have in our existing products and services, and the vision we have for the future growth of the airline,” said Sir Maurice Flanagan, Executive Vice Chairman of Emirates Airline and Group. “Emirates is not just offering a way to connect people from point A to B but is the catalyst to connect people’s hopes, dreams and aspirations. Emirates is connecting people and cultures creating relevant and meaningful experiences that are shaping the world.”

IATA releases traffic results THE International Air Transport Association (IATA) has released global traffic results for the first quarter of 2012 showing an 8.6 per cent improvement in passenger demand and a 5.2 per cent rise rise in cargo demand compared to the same month in the previous year. Several factors inflated the first quarter 2012 results and distorted comparisons with the year-ago period. These included weaker traffic during the Arab Spring a year ago and the occurrence of Carnival in Brazil in February, a month earlier than in 2011. Cargo demand was also subject to positive distortion by the occurrence of Chinese New Year in January which pushed some deliveries into February. Global passenger capacity expanded by 7.4 per cent compared to previous-year levels, lagging behind the 8.6 per cent increase in demand. This has had a positive impact on load factors, which airlines have maintained at 75.3 per cent —better than the 74.4 per cent recorded in February 2011.

EU blacklists carriers into its airspace THE European Union has included Venezuelan airline- Conviasa has been included in the list of carriers banned from its 27-member states because of safety concerns. It has also banned all air carriers licensed in Libya from flying into its territory until at least November 22, 2012. Last week, the European Commission adopted the 19th update of the European list of air carriers which are for safety reasons subject to an operating ban or operational restrictions within the European Union. Following constructive consultations, Libyan authorities decided to adopt strong measures applicable to all air carriers licensed in Libya, Serious concerns were identified regarding the safety oversight of air carriers licensed in Libya. Hence, intense consultations were held with the Libyan civil aviation authorities and the Libyan Transport Minister.

BAA traffic gets boost

•Princess Oduah

TRAFFIC at airports operated by British Airport Authority ( BAA) rose by four per cent in March, compared with the same month in 2011, helped by Easter being earlier this year and strong growth on routes to emerging markets. BAA, which is Britain’s main airport operator and majority owned by Spanish infrastructure group Ferrovial, said 8.6 million passengers travelled through its airports last month. The company said 5.7 million passengers passed through London Heathrow - Europe’s busiest airport - last month, 6.9 per cent up on last March. “That increase means Heathrow saw more than 70 million passengers over a 12 month period for the first time,” BAA chief executive Colin Matthews said in a statement. “Traffic from Heathrow to the BRIC (Brazil, Russia, India and China) countries saw growth compared with March last year, with an increase of 62.3 per cent in traffic to and from Brazil.” BAA said Heathrow’s performance was particularly notable for the 4.2 percentage point increase in load factor to 73.4 per cent compared with March last year.



MOTORING Lagos re-inaugurates waterways board

FRSC records 16 accidents, 5 deaths in FCT during Easter


HE Federal Road Safety Commission (FRSC) in the Federal Capital Territory (FCT) has disclosed that 16 road accidents were recorded during the Easter celebrations. Its Head of Operations, Sector Command, Mr Sunday Ajayi, told the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) in Abuja that five persons died in the accidents, while 57 others sustained injuries. Ajayi identified overloading and the use of telephone while driving as major traffic offences operatives of the sector had to contend with dur-

ing the commission’s five-day special patrol for the Easter. He said the sector had deployed more than 300 operatives and equipment to the Gwagwalada-AbajiLokoja and Nyanya-Keffi exit routes for effective traffic management and to ensure free flow of traffic and accident-free celebration. Meanwhile, the police said it did not record any serious crime in the territory during the celebration. Mr Jimoh Moshood, the FCT Police Public Relations Officer, told NAN that the various strategies adopted by the command to prevent

crime before and during the celebration yielded desire result. “No serious crime was recorded during the celebration. The various crime prevention strategies adopted by the command before and during the Easter culminated to a peaceful celebration,” he said. Moshood thanked the public for co-operating with the police during the period. Heassuredthat the command would do everything possible to sustain the low level of crime in the territory and solicited for further public cooperation.

Cool FM, others partner Lagos Motor fair


ETERMINED to raise the stakes of the Lagos Motor Fair, which begins on Wednesday, BKG Exhibitions Limited, organisers of the yearly event has entered into a partnership with Steam Broadcasting and Communication Limited, owners of Cool 96.9FM, Wazobia 95.1FM and Nigeria Info 99.3 FM, to ensure the promotion of the fair before and during the event. Announcing this at an interactive session with motoring correspondents, Managing Director, BKG, Mr Ifeanyichukwu Agwu said, it is in furtherance of the organisers’resolve to push the event. According to him, the choice of these stations stem from their a reach, acceptance and professionalism. “They are tune in to by virtually all segments of people that form the

By Tajudeen Adebanjo

target visitors and participants to the event. They have mass appeal and are highly listened to in Lagos and environs. Cool FM is the toast of the upper, educated and urbane; Wazobia is the choice of the masses and Nigeria Info is a bridge and also has a large population of sports lovers and lovers of talk shows as its patrons; so with them, the airwaves will be highly saturated with the activities of the event and its messages will reach the nooks and crannies thereby giving high mileages to both the participants and other stakeholders in the event,” he said. He added that the stations have been identifying with efforts aimed at developing the automotive and road transport business in Nigeria, hence the

resolve to increase their supports to the sector by raising the stake in this year’s event. The auto industry, he said, is an important sector in any economy which impacts greatly on other sectors of the economy. Meanwhile, one of Nigeria’s automobile assembling companies, the National Trucks Manufacturers Limited (NTM) will storm the fair with some high quality automobiles. NTM will be showcasing light trucks, tractors, pick-ups, CUV-jeeps, tippers, trailer heads, tankers, cargo trucks, garbage trucks as well as passenger vehicles such as hovers. From its base in Kano, the largest truck manufacturer in the country will be at the event with the latest products from their partners CNHTC, GREATWALL, QINGQI and DF-Motors

By Tajudeen Adebanjo



OISED to exploit the potential of the waterways and realise its inter-model transport policy, the Lagos State Government has reinaugurated a six-man Board of Directors for the Lagos State Waterways Authority (LASWA). Commissioner for Transportation, Comrade Kayode Opeifa, during the re-inauguration of the Board at the Conference Room of the Ministry, said the re-inauguration was done in recognition of water transportation as a vital form of transportation in the mobility of people and goods in the state. The Commissioner hailed the vision of Governor Babatunde Raji Fashola, for encouraging private par-

ticipation in the transportation sector. This, he said, will bequeathe to Lagosians an effective, efficient and affordable inter-modal transportation system. Opeifa said the agency has performed tremendously well, urging the new members to allow diligence, hard work, integrity and selfless service be their watch words. Chairman of the Board, a former the Attorney-General and Commissioner for Justice, Lagos State, Mr Olasupo Sasore (SAN), described the re-appointment as a privilege to serve the people of the state. He said the board would remain committed to the policy of the state and advancement of the waterways as laid down in the establishment of LASWA. He noted that LASWA, which is the first state Sub-National Waterways Authority in the country, is a testimony of the desire of the state government to bring satisfaction, national economy values to the citizens and also ensure the realisation of the inter modal transport policy. Other members of the LASWA Board included Managing Director Mr Yinka Marinho; Commodore Mustapha Salami; Mr Fred AniMumuney; Rotimi Toyin Abdul and Mrs Omua Oni-Okpaku.

Horse riders warn against disrupting traffic in Bauchi


HE Federal Road Safety Com- by horse riders on the roads, forcmission (FRSC), Bauchi Sector, ing traffic to a standstill or slowing has warned horse riders to stop it down considerably. riding in a manner that would block Mamman said horse riders were traffic in the city. often riding across the roads inMr Zakariya Mamman, the Sector stead of moving in a single file, Commander, gave the warning in especially after wedding and an interview with the News Agency other traditional ceremonies in of Nigeria (NAN) in Bauchi. the city. Mamman said the commission He said there were circumANO State Tricycle Association has sought the According to Gabari, some of them play immoral had been inundated with com- stances when the riders’ action also plaints from members of the public intervention of the state Hisbah Board to sanitise music, dress indecently and harass women passengers. caused accidents resulting in horses its services. The Hisbah commander urged the association to del- on distractions, persistently caused crashing in to cars or motorcyclists. Chairman of the association, Mallam Ashiru Gabari, egate its members to enter into an agreement with the made the call in Kano, when he led a delegation of the board on the need to make its services to conform with Lagos trains LASTMA officials on news reporting association on a visit to the Hisbah commander, Sheikh Islamic injunctions. Aminu Daurawa. He assured that the board would come up with guideBy Tajudeen Adebanjo He expressed concern at what he described as the un- lines on how to sanitise their operations and forward Islamic behaviour of some members of the association. them to the House of Assembly for enactment into law. AGOS State Government has started two-day training on news reporting for 120 officials of the Lagos State Traffic Management Authority (LASTMA). The Commissioner for Transportation, Comrade Kayode Opeifa, while declaring the training open at Eko FM/Radio Lagos Multi-purpose Hall, FAITH-based organisation, also witnessed the presentation of avoidable road accidents in the Ikeja, said it is for officers is to ensure that they are conversant with the Wisemen Ministry, has drivers’ stickers and banners to the state. writing in preparation for the take-off of the Lagos Traffic Radio (LTR). partnered Nasarawa State Sector Commander of the FRSC, He said when the Traffic Radio takes off, motorists would heve the opUsaini observed that most acciMr Tuma Dalok. dents occurred as a result of reck- portunity to have first hand information on transportation and traffic news, command of Federal Road Safety During the presentation, Pastor traffic alerts and diversions, while they drive or before they leave their Commission (FRSC) on road safety Samaila Usaini of the Wisemen lessness, dangerous driving, homes. drunkenness and non observance ahead of this year’s rainy season. Ministry said it was the ministry’s He added that in case of accidents, information, which would enable moThe News Agency of Nigeria way of contributing to the socio- of speed limits, among others. torists to avoid such routes, will be aired and alternative routes to ply, made He said the stickers and banners, (NAN) reports that both economic well-being of the counknown to them. organisations have organised a try by inculcating good driving which shed light on the benefits of He commended the officers for the laudable achievements which LASTMA campaign on road safety in the habits to promote safety on roads. imbibing good driving habits and has recorded. observance of traffic rules, would state. He said the production of the He urged the agency not to relent in discharging its duties effectively and The campaign, which started stickers and banners became nec- go a long way to check the excesses efficiently now that every state in the federation is establishing a replica of of road users with a motorcade round the city, essary due to the rampant cases of LASTMA in their various states

Tricycle operators seek sanitisation of services


Group partners FRSC on road safety




Warranty in auto industry: Any guarantee?


RUTH: Banks may finance the purchase of your car, you are the one to ensure that you are not robbed of your rightful manufacturer’s warranty. ASSUMPTION 5: A “mechanical breakdown”warranty offers the same coverage as a “wear and tear” warranty. TRUTH: The best warranty takes care of wear and tear but we are yet to get it in Nigeria. Even a mechanical breakdown warranty could be denied the car owner by blaming it on “bad fuel,” “bad road”, “harmattan,” “flood” etc. This is in spite of the claim by many automobile distributors that their “vehicles were made for Nigerian roads and condition.” ASSUMPTION 6: Auto warranty means you never have to worry about your vehicle.

TRUTH: Whether it’s a manufacturer warranty or a vehicle service contract (extended auto warranty), you’re still expected to care for your vehicle and provide proper maintenance like regular oil changes and others. If you haven’t been caring for your vehicle as outlined in the owner’s manual, your vehicle may end up with a lot of problems that may not be guaranteed by the warranty. Ensure to do the routine service of your vehicle and keep accurate maintenance records and receipts. ASSUMPTION 7: I don’t have to pay for labour in effecting my warranty rights in Nigeria. TRUTH – Many automobile companies in Nigeria, in an unprofessional breach of trust, charge for labour against manufacturer’s instructions.

ASSUMPTION 8: If new cars come with warranty, tokunbo cars should too, even if it is for a shorter period. TRUTH: Once your tokunbo vehicle crosses any border to the country, it automatically loses its warranty, whether manufacturer’s or extended service warranty. Thus, it is better to invest in brand new cars with warranty that is guaranteed by tested and trusted automobile distributors in Nigeria. ASSUMPTION 9: Insurance covers warranty outside the spheres of accident. TRUTH: No insurance fully guarantees auto warranty in Nigeria. ASSUMPTION 10 : There should be a law in Nigeria which guarantees genuine automobile warranty. TRUTH: No law guarantees auto warranty in Nigeria. Every vehicle owner is at the mercy and discretion

of auto distributors and marketers; Consumer Rights Protection advocates would make some noise and keep quiet after some time. ASSUMPTION 11: Warranty is easy to understand to the educated Nigerian. TRUTH: Warranty is easily automated by some unscrupulous auto distributors and marketers in Nigeria to be complicated, reengineered to confuse, revved up to cause dissonance and ultimately extract buyers’ disinterestedness in the same warranty he seeks to understand. ASSUMPTION 12: There should be some good news about auto warranty in Nigeria. TRUTH: The bad news is that auto warranty in Nigeria is sick; the good news is that it is yet to go comatose. But what do we call this kind of sickness?

Dr Oscar Odiboh Having spent the past few years searching for what meets the identified symptoms, I have come to the conclusion that what we have is best referred to as YELLOW FEVER WARRANTY. •To be continued next week









Lagos State has taken health care to the next level. With the largest health workforce and the state-of-the-art facilities across the state, the government says it will continue to deliver on its mandate. WALE ADEPOJU reports

Lagos’ score card in health care A

LTHOUGH it has taken medicare to a higher level, a visit to some of the health centres in Lagos State shows that the government still has more to do to meet the standards in health care in developed nations. Investigation by The Nation revealed that Lagos is miles away in health care compared to advanced country. Despite this, with its numerous programmes, which are not limited to Free Medical Mission (FMM), Free Screenings and Maternal and Child Care, the state government has proved to doubting Thomas, that it can provide qualitative health care for the people. The state has been carrying out free community-based primary health care programmes. It provides comprehensive secondary health care in addition to upgrading and equipping all health institutions across the state. The state also embarked on training and retraining of the health workforce to ensure capacity building and service delivery. Despite the large staff strength and its attendant financial burden, the state ensures its health workers are placed on the priority list so that the government can deliver on its mandate in providing unbeatable health care which other states can emulate. The state has adopted various strategies to ensure that health care remained its priority. One of such strategies is the organisation of medical missions to complement the normal health delivery service. The programme, which was specifically created to address urgent health issues of the rural communities in the state, in line with its free health policy, has lived up to its expectation. It has in recent years covered the three senatorial districts of the state. Thousands of inhabitants including the elderly, children and expectant mothers, among others with pressing medical and surgical

problems, especially the poor are beneficiaries. The mission has strong personnel, who make sure the patients enjoy general consultation and free medications, including nutritional assessment of the children. They also get general basic/uncomplicated surgeries, basic, uncomplicated obstetrics/gynaecological surgeries, simple dental procedures, eye consultation and screening with the provision of glasses; eye surgeries such as cataract extraction with intraocular lens implantation and pteryguim excision, among others. The programmes designed by the state's Ministry of Health, are ways of reducing the diseases and death figures rate. There is also capacity building for the health work force. This is one of the cardinal programmes of the administration, aimed at increasing its acceptability by the rural community. The government also encouraged the private sector through the Public-Private Participation (PPP) by encouraging other governments and non-governmental organisations (NGOs) to integrate their programmes into the system. The Medical Mission ensured that the 20 Local Government Areas (LGAs) and 37 Local Council Development Areas (LCDAs) are well covered. The state ensures that medical personnel, drugs and consumables are provided by both the ministry and the Health and Missions International. Health and Missions International also provides the bulk of the required materials, especially those related to eye care, publicity, documentation and other logistics. The Free Medical Mission, which began in 2008, has been sustained by the government. The Seventh FMM was taken to Ikorodu LGA (Lagos East Senatorial District), between February 18 and 22, 2008 where the General Outpa-

tient Department (GOPD) recorded 16,962 patients attendance, with dental and general surgery/obstetric receiving 691 and 193 patients. The Mission attended to 643 males while the female tested were 1, 138. The eighth mission was to IbejuLekki LGA, between March 17 and 21, 2008. The GOPD received 4,962 patients, while dental and general surgery/ obstetric 395 and 123. The 15 FMM was taken to Agege LGA on January 25, 2010 and ended four days later. It recorded GOPD 29, 663 cases; dental, 810 and general surgery/obstetrics, 219. There were three FMM outings to Oshodi - Isolo, Apapa and Shomolu local government areas between January and May 17, last year. At the programme, a total of 95,

308 patients were attended to by the experts. Some simple surgeries were carried out while the complex ones were referred to the wellequipped secondary, and in some cases, tertiary health care facilities in the state. The FMM is in its 17th edition and the government is not resting on its oars to ensure that more patients get qualitative health care. What is more, the state Primary Health Care Board has also upgraded the PHC system to ensure that minor ailments are handled at that level to prevent congestion in tertiary facilities where most patients often receive treatment. Ayinke House at the Lagos State University Teaching Hospital

(LASUTH) is undergoing construction to meet international standards. A Tuberculosis Centre has been opened in Yaba to manage thousands of TB cases. In Gbagada General Hospital, a renal centre, has been established to take care of kidney problems. Maternal and Child Centre has been established in most of the general hospitals in the state to address maternal and child mortality. The state government is upgrading all Primary Health Care Centres to meet the increasing demand for prop2er community health services. With these programmes, no doubt the government wil continue to deliver on its mandate.

•Governor Babatunde Fashola checking a child at a diabetes and hypertension screening centre at Ikosi-Isheri Local Council Development Area (LCDA). With him are the Commissioner for Health, Dr Jide Idris and his Special Adviser on Public Health, Dr Yewande Adeshina.

‘Nigeria among world’s four with unvaccinated children’


ESPITE the giant strides it has made in immunisation, Nigeria is still among the world’s four countries with unvaccinated children. Chairperson, International Steering Committee, National Vaccine Summit (NVS), Dr. Chizoba Wonodi, said the country is 12th with the highest under-five mortality. “Close to one million Nigerian children die before age five. One in every 10 child deaths worldwide is in Nigeria, and many of the deaths are from vaccine preventable diseases,” she added. He further said at an event that there is an increasing awareness on universal vaccine coverage for all Nigerian children by 2015. Dr Wonodi, who is also the leader, Nigeria Programmes at the John Hopkins International Vaccine Access Centre, said: “To prevent avoidable deaths and illness, we must build on the progress that has been made and ensure that we reach every Nigerian child with life-sav-

•’Ogun surpasses 200 per cent immunisation coverage’ By Oyeyemi Gbenga-Mustapha and Wale Adepoju

ing vaccines.” The summit, she said, was collaboration among the Federal Ministry of Health, the National Primary Care Development Agency, Paediatric Association of Nigeria, John Hopkins IVAC, other Nigerian and International partners. She said immunisation will contribute to the attainment Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) Four and reduction of under-five mortality rate by two-thirds. She said disease prevention would save lives and money. “Over half a million deaths could be prevented if Nigeria were able to achieve 90 per cent vaccination coverage of Hib, PCV, Rotavirus, Measles and Pertussis by 2015. “By preventing illness and saving lives through the scaling up of vaccination to 90 per cent, over $16 billion could be added to the Nigerian economy over the long term,”

she added. Local Organising Committee (LOC) Chairman, Dr Dorothy Esangbedo, said the summit would ginger Nigerians and the international community to raise pledges of commitment and action from leaders across the political, business, traditional and religious spectrum. Esangbedo, who is also the President of the Paediatric Association of Nigeria (PAN), said a plan and accountability framework would be established at the end of the summit, to ensure that commitments made at the summit were fulfilled. Meanwhile, Ogun State has recorded 240 per cent coverage in its immunisation programme. According to its Director, Primary Health Care Services, Dr. Kafayat Lawal, the exercise has reduced the number of un-immunised children in the state. Lawal, who spoke during the review meeting following the last

Immunisation Plus Days (IPDs), said the coverage has been consistent in the past four years. She added that over two million children have been reached for immunisation in the March segment of the campaign. Lawal said adequate improvement has been made on Routine Immunisation with refurbishment of health facilities in the state and that there is a provision for essential integrated health care package for women and children. She attributed the success recorded so far to the commitment of the state government, development partners and other relevant agencies on advocacy, education and sensitisation. She said the involvement of the state Executive Council members and Permanent Secretaries of agencies in the pre, implementation and post-implementation during the exercise in their

local governments of origin helped to boost the programme. She described the development as encouraging, adding that their monitoring had helped to restore acceptance of immunsation among the people. Commissioner for Information and Strategy, Alhaji Yusuph Olaniyonu, who monitored Obafemi-Owode and his counterpart in Forestry, Mr Falilu Sabitu, said over 90 per cent of children between zero and five years in the area were immunised. Also, Community Development and Co-operatives Commissioner, Chief Samuel Ayedogbon, said 85 per cent coverage was recorded in Ifo Local Government Area. They assured that the administration would continue to provide support and adequate logistics to ensure that polio was eradicated in the state, adding that with improved workers’ welfare scheme, there will be efficient services delivery in health care delivery.




A young trail blazer in medicare O

NE person’s passion and drive can change the fate of humanity for good. Add a dose of personal tragedy to the mix, and you get a fascinating case study in the evolution of healthcare services in Africa’s second largest and fastest growing economy. Welcome to the world of Ola Orekunrin, medical doctor, helicopter pilot, author, medical research fellow, and Nigeria’s trailblazing social entrepreneur. Orekunrin, 25, represents the new face of young and visionary entrepreneurs in sub-Sahara Africa, an expanding breed of Africans in the diaspora returning home to craft their names in the sands of time. What’s driving her? How come she has achieved so much at such a young age? “I’m the most clumsy, disorganised, eccentric person ever…honestly,” she says defensively. In truth, the trauma and emergency specialist is poised to change the face of medical practice on the continent with Flying Doctors Ni-

geria Limited, West Africa’s first medical emergency evacuation service. She founded Flying Doctors barely two years ago with £200,000 (about N50 million), after liquidating her assets, including her savings, fast car and London apartment, and asking private investors to match what she had. Today, she employs about 25 professionals in Lagos, Abuja and Port Harcourt and the firm is poised for speedy growth, considering the retinue of current and prospective clients in the financial services, petroleum and public sectors. “Our main clients are from the oil & gas industry and manufacturing firms. I definitely think patronage from these sectors is set to grow,” she says. The service that Flying Doctors provide highlights the yawning gap in quality healthcare service delivery and the human development index of the world’s sixth crude oil producer. Distances between factories, remote oil indus-

• Dr Ola Orekunrin, CEO, Flying Doctors Nigeria Ltd (middle) making her speech after receiving an award in recognition of her services to humanity from wife of ex-UK Prime Minister, Mrs Cherie Blair (left), while Chairman, Society for Underwater Technology, Mr Ross Agazuma, looks on.

try installations and hospitals that offer international-standard healthcare can sometimes be up to 100 kilometres or more. Orekunrin is optimistic that local and international corporates will increasingly be retaining her firm’s services “in accordance with their duty of care to protect their employees. ”She also expects increased patronage from across Nigeria’s public sector firms and state governments, as most do not have organised disaster

management systems. “I think our facilities would make a huge contribution to such needs.” Flying Doctors received its initial technical support from the UK’s East Anglian Air Ambulance Service. A portion of current operating profits is ploughed into the Flying Doctors Foundation, which funds public healthcare projects in Nigeria. She won’t disclose what the firm is currently worth, but the rapid response, door-to-door domestic

and international air ambulance service they provide has been hailed as “one of the most important healthcare innovations in Nigeria this decade”. Aspiring entrepreneurs would find Orekunrin’s story inspiring. Setting up the business turned out to be the least of her worries. This was an old, but brand new, concept in these parts. •Culled from Forbes African Magazine

Yobe treats 284 kidney patients, others


OBE State Government has treated 284 people with terminal kidney diseases and other orthopaedic problems, such as spinal cord injury and hip replacement and open-heart surgery. According to the state, the treatments have cost N122.5 million. Speaking in Damaturu, the Special Adviser to the Governor Gaidam on Press and Information Affairs Abdullahi Bego said the government took the action because the sick were in need of prompt treatment due to

• To set up polio immunisation taskforces From Duku Joel, Damaturu

the severity of their illness. He said there were no enough consultants to handle all the cases as they were very critical. “The beneficiaries were sponsored for the treatment at the Dala Orthopaedic Hospital, Kano and hospitals in Egypt and India. Cases referred to these hospitals include spinal cord injury, renal failure and

renal transplant, severe burns, liver cirrhosis, cardiovascular and dermatological complications. “Governor Gaidam approved requests to fund these treatments based on recommendations by the medical board. Some of the cases, such as those of kidney failure, thrombosis and spinal cord injury require highly specialised medical attention which are not immediately available locally”, Bego

• Chief Medical Director (CMD), Lagos State University Teaching Hospital (LASUTH), Prof Wale, Oke flanked by Director, Clinical Services and Training, Dr Bode Ogunbanjo and Director, Administration, Mrs Jumoke Akinlawon, at a briefing in the hospital.

Expert canvasses law on air condition, heating in hospital


ICE-President, American Society of Heating Refrigeration and Air-conditioning Engineers (ASHRAE) in Cairo, Egypt, Dr Essam Kahlil, has urged African government to promulgate laws that will regulate the operations and use of air conditioning and other heating appliances in hospitals and clinics to control transmission of diseases. He spoke at a lecture entitled: Optimisation of indoor air quality by balancing thermal comfort and air quality in health care facilities in Lagos, South west Nigeria in Lagos.

By Jumoke Kolawole

The expert, however, said one of the attributes of a hygienic environment in any society was total control of transmitted diseases through respiration and the cross transmission of diseases in hospital, schools and other public places and at gatherings. According to the expert, it can be as a result of improper installation of the appliances, and the degree at which it operates and cleanliness of the area. He said governments should implement the code that will regulate the installations and operations of air conditioning

in health facilities to check mate the incidences of cross transmission of diseases from one ward to another. The ASHRAE President in Nigeria, Mr Babatunde Badru, said there was the need to control the diseases transmitted in hospitals through air conditioning which was supposed to serve as coolant and refreshing air. The Chairman of the occasion, Abayomi Aiyeobayomi, said the government needed to promulgate a law that will ensure adherence of operators to international code of conducts for effective and efficient use of the appliances in the hospitals and clinics.

said. The aide said the beneficiaries were drawn from different parts of the state and were selected based on their critical needs and on the review of individual condition of patients by the state medical board. “The state is doing everything necessary to put our health sector on a sound footing, including ensuring that we have the equipment and personnel to provide adequate health care services. This is why for several months now we have an arrangement where consultants come from the University of Maiduguri Teaching Hospital (UMTH) to provide services at the State Specialist Hospital, Damaturu,” Bego added. He said N20 million was spent monthly to procure drugs for the treatment of expectant mothers, children of five years and below and accident victims within the first 72 hours of their admission in hospital. “As a result of these efforts, we will continue to make progress by preventing and reducing the incidences of maternal and child mortality across the state,” Bego said. He said a new 44-bed maternity ward will soon be completed at the State Specialist Hospital, Damaturu as part of efforts to improve the health of women and children.

Meanwhile, the state government has directed local government (LG) chairmen in the state to reactivate their immunisation task force while those without any were asked to establish one. State Chairman, Task Force on Routine Immunisation, Polio Eradication Initiative and Primary Health care, Alhaji Bukar Dauda, gave the directive at the meeting of all the 17 council chairmen in Damaturu. Dauda, who is also the Commissioner for Local Government and Chieftaincy Affairs (LGCA), noted that the directive has become necessary due to the resolve of the Federal and state government to eradicate poliomyelitis in the country and the state in particular. “All LG Chairmen are hereby charged to reactivate all LGA Task Force on Immunisation/PHC in their LGAs. The LGAs that do not have Taskforces should establish them with immediate effect following the guidelines”, Dauda said. He said he would inaugurate task forces across the state as soon as possible, adding: “The LGAs should provide additional support, such as human, material and financial resources for RI/PEI and other PHC activities” while stressing that the chairmen must physically participate during immunisation and IPDs.

Managing nausea, vomiting


AUSEA and vomiting are common and distressing symptoms in many palliative care patients. Identifying the cause or causes and treating the symptoms promptly can increase comfort and quality of life. What is nausea and vomiting? Nausea is an unpleasant feeling in the stomach that may or may not be followed by vomiting. Vomiting is the sudden, forceful expulsion of the stomach contents which may or may not be preceded by nausea. They very often occur together but can can also occur independently of each other. Nausea is very common as a patient moves toward the end of life. It is most common in patients with terminal cancer with more than

half reporting this symptom. It is also common in patients with other diagnosis. It almost goes without saying that nausea and vomiting are distressing symptoms but, more importantly, they can prevent a patient from taking in adequate hydration and nutrition as well as important medications. Causes of nausea and vomiting There are several causes of nausea and vomiting. Noxious odors, tastes, or sights can sometimes trigger this response. Certain medications such as opioid analgesics (narcotic pain medications), NSAID’s, antibiotics, and chemotherapeutic agents can cause nausea as well. •Culled from






CCNN, others declare N6.3b dividends •Market opens on negative


HE boards of Cement Company of Northern Nigeria (CCNN) Plc, Dangote Sugar Refinery (DSR) Plc, National Salt Company of Nigeria (Nascon) Plc and NCR Nigeria Plc yesterday said that they have recommended distributions of N6.34 billion to their shareholders as cash dividends for the 2011 business year. In separate notices made available to the investing public through the Nigerian Stock Exchange (NSE), the companies said they have recommended distribution of portions of net earnings to shareholders. CCNN would be distributing about N566 million on the basis of 45 kobo dividend per share as the net profit of the cement company rose by 82 per cent in 2011. DSR would be distributing N3.6 billion on the basis of 30 kobo per share, NASCON would be paying out N1.85 billion on the rate of 70 kobo per share, while NCR would be distributing N324 million on the basis of N3 per share to all shareholders. Key extracts of the audited report and accounts of CCNN for the year ended December 31, 2011, showed that profit after tax nearly doubled from N1.27 billion in 2010 to N2.30 billion in 2011. Profit before tax had grown from N1.75 billion in 2010 to N3.29 billion in

By Taofik Salako and Tonia Osundolire

2011. Turnover stood at N13.92 billion as against N11.18 billion in 2010. Meanwhile, in spite of the several corporate earnings reports released yesterday, the two key market indicators at the NSE reduced by 0.1 per cent each. The All-ShareIndex shed 20.76 absolute points to close lower at 20,722.40 points. In the same vein, the Market Capitalisation shed N6 billion representing to close lower at N6.615 trillion. The market received audited Financial Statements of Dangote Sugar, Fidelity Bank, NCR Nigeria, National Salt, Skye Bank, Cement Company of Northern Nigeria, Airline Service, Forte Oil, Nigerian Breweries and NPF Microfinance Bank yesterday. Though, their figures were mixed in terms of performance, they nonetheless, provided incentive to their shareholders. According to the figure made available to the Nigerian Stock Exchange (NSE), NCR Nigeria recommended a dividend of N3.00 per share with closure date fixed for April 30, 2012. National Salts proposed a dividend of 70 kobo per share, with closure date fixed on the 21st of May, 2012. Skye and Fidelity Bank recommended dividend of 25k and 14k per share respec-

tively. Their closure dates are May 4 and April 27, 2012 respectively. Dangote Sugar and CCNN recommended 30k and 45k dividend per share respectively. The former closure date was fixed for April 3rd, 2012, while the latter has not conveyed its closure date. Yesterday’s downturn was boosted by value losses over moderate volume posted in Beta Glass, Cadbury, ETI, Oando, United Bank for Africa, First Bank as well as Sterling Bank. However, a total of 40 equities recorded price change with 17 appreciating while the remaining 23 reduced their value. Union Bank led the gainers table with N0.14 to close at N3.10 a difference of 4.73 per cent. This was followed by RT Briscoe, Fidelity Bank, Eterna Oil, Bagco, CCNN, NASCON, Access Bank, Fidson and Dangote Flour. On the losers table, Chevron led the list with a drop of N1.86 to close at N35.36 while Conoil followed with a drop of N1.16 to close at N22.06. Also on the table were Oando, Unilever, Bataglass, Berger, HIS, Livestock, Ikeja Hotel and UBA. Total volume transacted dropped marginally to 330.29 million, valued at N1.22 billion in 3,309 deals, compared to 364.99 million shares, worth N2.18 billion, exchanged in 3,503 deals posted on Friday last week. Volume and value dipped by 9.5 per cent and 44.04 per cent respectively. On the top trade table, Unity Kapital Insurance emerged the most actively traded stock with 113.11 million shares, valued at N56.55 million in a single deal. This transaction is more of a cross-deal sale.






NDIC to inspect 250 microfinance banks

HE Nigerian Deposit Insurance Corporation (NDIC) would carry out routine check on 250 microfinance banks (MfBs) this year. Addressing the media on status of MfBs in the country, Managing Director, NDIC, Umaru Ibrahim said the corporation is committed to ensuring that previous practices, where the operations of the sub-sector was not effectively monitored does not reoccur. He said both the Central Bank of

Nigeria (CBN) and NDIC have shared the over 800 MfBs for inspection within the year to ensure they are operating within international best standards. The rest will be covered by the CBN. Many of the MfBs previously liquidated by the NDIC ran into trouble when many of their debtors refused to pay back their loans, over 80 per cent of which were unsecured. The NDIC has paid N3 billion, out of the

N5 billion insured deposit to the affected MfB depositors. Ibrahim explained that some of the MfBs were taking excessive risks, and branching out too quickly without considering resources at their disposal and whether utilised funds were short or long term obligations. To bring sanity to the sector, the apex bank recently set new guidelines for the operation of MfBs. Under the new guidelines, MfBs would now operate under three

categories, which include unit, state and national microfinance banks. A unit MfB bank is authorised to operate in one location without branches/cash centres and is required to have a minimum paid up capital of N20 million while that of a state is expected to have a minimum paid up capital of N100 million. It is equally allowed to open branches within the same state or the Federal Capital Territory. But the national MfB is authorised to operate in more

the bank. In a statement, the bank said, TPR system enables it to establish the authenticity of the recipient and effect payment without further delay. The implementation of the TPR system again gives the bank additional competitive advantage as it continues to explore the frontiers of tested customer service deliv-

ery options that will consistently delight its stakeholders and stand the bank out among other financial institutions as far as money transfer service processing is concerned. The bank said the development is part of its continual quest for improved customer satisfaction, as enshrined in its vision statement.

The bank recalled that just recently, Managing Director/Chief Executive Officer, Enterprise Bank, Ahmed Kuru unveiled a new model branch design with an e-banking gallery. The modern branch also boasts of Automated Teller Machine (ATM), Internet banking facilities, among other possibilities, as a distinct area separate from the cash area.

ness activities in spite of the challenging operating environment. Similarly, deposit liabilities rose to N658.1 billion from N507.6 billion in the previous year, reflecting a growth of 29.6 per cent. From the results released on the trading floor of the Nigerian Stock Exchange, the Group’s operating income also grew by 22.5 per cent from N60.8 billion in 2010 to N74.4 billion. According to a statement, the Group Managing Director/Chief Executive Officer of the Bank, Kehinde Durosinmi-Etti, said: “The Group re-

corded growth in major indices of performance in the financial year. The Group recorded a 24.8 per cent growth in gross earnings from N83.9 billion to N104.8 billion, this represented growth in interest income and fee and commission income. He said the bank maintained its focus on certain business segments in which it has had good track records, in addition to new segments where it exploited business opportunities. The major growth areas included oil and gas commercial banking, retail banking, trea-

sury, corporate and investment banking. This growth trajectory reflected in a 29.6 per cent increase in deposit volumes in the year, from N507.6 billion to N658.1 billion, and a 22.3 per cent growth in gross loans and advances from N424.8 billion to N519.7 billion. The statement also indicated that “the pattern of reduction of the nonperforming loan (NPL) ratio remained consistent in 2011, as the ratio dropped significantly to 4.9 per cent from 11.9 per cent reported last year.

By Collins Nweze

Enterprise Bank improves money transfer services


NTERPRISE Bank Limited (EBL) has extended MoneyGram and Western Union money transfer services to both its existing and prospective customers. The process, which has been tagged, Third Party Referral (TPR) allows a current account holder of another bank to reference a money transfer recipient who does not have account with

than one state, including the FCT. It is required to have a minimum paid up capital of N2 billion and is allowed to open branches in all states of the federation and the FCT, although subject to prior written approval by the CBN. Analysts said this will strengthen the balance sheet of MfBs and create better opportunity for them to key into new businesses under better risk management procedures.

FirstBank rewards customers


Skye Bank posts N6.5b profit


KYE Bank Group, yesterday, released its 2011 audited financial year results, with a 48.9 per cent reduction in profit before tax, from N12.7 billion to N6.5 billion. The bank attributed the decline to additional provisions of N15.9 billion for diminution in assets value. However, the bank recorded an impressive growth in its asset base by 31.3 per cent to N927.1 billion, from N705.9 billion recorded in 2010 financial year. This showed an appreciable expansion in its busiFGN BONDS Tenor

Amount N

Rate %


3-Year 5-Year 5-Year

35m 35m 35m

11.039 12.23 13.19

19-05-2014 18-05-2016 19-05-2016

DATA BANK WHOLESALE DUTCH AUCTION SYSTEM Amount Amount Offered ($) Demanded ($) 150m 150m 138m 138m

MANAGED FUNDS Initial Current Quotation Price Market N8250.00 5495.33 N1000.00 N552.20


Price Loss 2754.67 447.80

OBB Rate Call Rate

7.9-10% 10-11%

PRIMARY MARKET AUCTION (T-BILLS) Tenor 91-Day 182-Day 1-Year

Amount 30m 46.7m 50m

Rate % 10.96 9.62 12.34

Date 28-04-2011 “ 14-04-2011




2.96 1.00 1.42 3.50 1.65 4.78 3.95 5.50 0.91 3.90


3.10 1.05 1.49 3.67 1.73 5.01 4.14 5.75 0.95 4.06

113m EXHANGE RATE 6-03-12 Currency



0.14 0.05 0.07 0.17 0.08 0.23 0.19 0.25 0.04 0.16

Year Start Offer

NGN USD NGN GBP NGN EUR NIGERIA INTER BANK (S/N) (S/N) Bureau de Change (S/N) Parallel Market

Current Before

147.6000 239.4810 212.4997

149.7100 244.0123 207.9023

150.7100 245.6422 209.2910

-2.11 -2.57 -1.51














July ’11

March 2012





Standing Lending Rate ,, Deposit Rate ,, Liquidity Ratio Cash Return Rate Inflation Rate

8.50% 4.50% 25.00% 1.00% 12.10%

8.50% 4.50% 25.00% 2.00% 12.10%

9.50% 5.50% 30.00% 2.00% 12.6%

O/PRICE 37.22 23.22 17.70 30.20 12.71 8.50 2.47 0.83 1.28 2.63

C/PRICE 35.36 22.06 16.82 28.70 12.08 8.08 2.35 0.79 1.22 2.51

CHANGE 1.86 1.16 0.88 1.50 0.63 0.42 0.12 0.04 0.06 0.12

NIBOR Tenor 7 Days 30 Days 60 Days 150 Days

Rate (Previous) 4 Mar, 2012 9.0417 9.6667 11.2917 12.1250

Rate (Currency) 6, Mar, 2012 10.17% 11.46% 11.96% 12.54%


Amount Sold ($) 150m 138m

Exchange Rate (N) 155.8 155.8

Date 29-2-12 27-2-12





C u r r e n t CUV Start After %

LOSERS AS AT 16-4-12


EN customers of First Bank of Nigeria Plc have emerged winners of the star prize of an all-expense paid trip to the London Olympics at the quarterly draws of the bank’s ongoing Save & Excel promo in Lagos. Drawn from various branches of the Bank across the nation, the 10 lucky customers’ prize includes a return ticket to United Kingdom, hotel accommodation, and allowances during the games in London. Three customers also won brand new Peugeot 307 Saloon cars at the draw which was monitored by officials of the National Lottery Regulatory Commission, KPMG Advisory Services Firm, and a representative of the Nigerian Olympic Committee (NOC). FirstBank’s Head, Consumer Banking, Mrs. Funke Smith said the bank was delighted at the opportunity to reward its customers’ unwavering loyalty and patronage through the promo. A total of 197 customers of the bank won various prizes.


27-10-11 N6.5236tr 20,607.37

28-10-11 N6.617tr 20,903.16

% Change -1.44% -1.44%


Offer Price

Bid Price


9.08 1.00 122.48 99.58 0.72 1.08 0.88 1,689.75 7.74 1.33 1.80 7,071.36 191.08 1.62


OPEN BUY BACK Previous 04 July, 2011

Current 07, Aug, 2011










NEWS ‘Airhiavbere should tell why he was detained’

Bayelsa to check ghost workers From Isaac Ombe, Yenagoa

THE Bayelsa State Government is to check the overbloated wage bill and staff strength in the local governments. It has set up a committee known as the Local Government Verification team to audit the eight local governments. Inaugurating the team in Yenagoa , Deputy Governor John Jonah urged the team to ensure that a proper audit is carried out. Jonah said members were carefully selected based on their competence and experience. He said the team should advise the government on how to tackle problems of emoluments and individual development of workers. Chairman of Team B, Ekeremor Local Government Peter Singabele appealed for security for members and promised to do a thorough job.

NDDC to decentralise operations THE Niger Delta Development Commission (NDDC) has announced plans to decentralise its functions to give more powers to its state offices. NDDC Managing Director Dr. Christian Oboh said this when the Deputy Speaker of Ondo State House of Assembly, Lanre Francis,visited the commission. Represented by the Executive Director, Finance and Administration, Lambert Komboye, Oboh said the move would minimise bureaucracy and unnecessary delays, as state offices will handle some critical issues. “We have evolved a policy of decentralisation, when you concentrate everything at the Head Office, there will be bureaucracy and a lot of things will go wrong,” the Managing Director declared. He assured that the commission will be fair, just and equitable in project distribution. Francis hailed the commission for its achievements and appealed for the completion of ongoing NDDC projects in the state.

FOC resumes From Nicholas Kalu, Calabar

THE new Flag Officer Commanding the Eastern Naval Command in Calabar, the Cross River State capital, Rear Admiral O. B. Ogunjobi, has pledged to work harder to improve operations at the command. Speaking with reporters in Calabar yesterday after inspecting some naval units, Ogunjobi identified some problems facing the command to include erosion, old jetties, inadequate personnel, among others. He promised to work to address these issues. Ogunjobi hailed the Chief of Naval Staff for making it possible for them to work achievements with their own initiatives.

From Osagie Otabor, Benin


•GOVERNORS ALL: From left: Emmanuel Uduaghan (Delta); Adams Oshiomhole (Edo); Liyel Imoke (Cross River); Godswill Akpabio (Akwa Ibom) and Seriake Dickson (Bayelsa) at the summit...yesterday


Southsouth governors insist on fiscal federalism

OUTHSOUTH governors yesterday insisted that 'fiscal federalism' and not the review of the revenue sharing formula will make states develop within their capability. The governors, at the end of the BRACED Commission meeting in Uyo, the Akwa Ibom State capital, decried the total neglect of other mineral deposits in various parts of the country. BRACED is an acronym for Bayelsa, Rivers, Akwa Ibom, Cross River, Edo and Delta states. In a communiqué, the governors advised the Coalition of Northern Leaders to jettison the unfortunate and misplaced call for a review of the revenue sharing formula. The communiqué reads: "On the issue of revenue allocation, the meeting endorsed the communiqué issued by the Southsouth

•Call for passage of PIB

From Kazeem Ibrahym, Uyo

governors at their meeting in Calabar on March 13 as well as the communiqué issued by the Speakers of the Southsouth state Houses of Assembly at their meeting on March 29, which, inter alia, regretted the attempt to link the increasing insecurity in parts of northern Nigeria to the revenue sharing formula and indeed the unfortunate and misplaced calls for a review. "The issue to be addressed is the introduction of fiscal federalism.Why are other mineral resources not exploited in different parts of the country ? "The introduction of fiscal federalism and resources control will encourage each state to control its resources and develop in ac-

cordance with its capability." The governors urged the country and the states to focus on agriculture which, in their view, will allow states to contribute significantly to the national purse rather than over-depend on oil. On the insecurity in the country, the governors urged those who are aggrieved to utilise the proposed constitution amendment to seek redress for their grievances rather than destroy innocent lives and property. The meeting called on the Federal Government to intensify efforts to restore law and order. The governors hailed the efforts of President Goodluck Jonathan in arresting the spate of insecurity in the country.

On the Petroleum Industry Bill (PIB), the meeting noted the long delay in the passage of the bill, saying such had impacted negatively on the BRACED states. The governors also welcomed the efforts of the Federal Government to reactivate the Bill for submission to the National Assembly. Besides the governors, others who attended the meeting were Senate Leader Victor Ndoma-Egba (SAN), who stood in for Southsouth members in the Senate and Deputy Leader, House of Representatives, Leonard Okuweh Ogor, who represented the Southsouth members in the House of Representatives. Others were Cross River State Speaker Larry Odey, who represented Southsouth speakers and Director-General, BRACED Commission, Joe Keshi.

Final-year UNIBEN medical student stabbed to death S

TUDENTS of the University of Benin (UNIBEN) yesterday protested the killing of a finalyear medical student by yetto-be identified persons. The slain student, whose name was simply given as Abubakar, was killed on the Senior Staff Quarters Road on the Ugbowo main campus. The protesting students said security operatives within the main campus were not doing enough to protect them. It was gathered that late Abubakar was stabbed in the neck at about 9pm on his way to his hostel . It was not confirmed whether it was a robbery or a cult-related killing. Sources said Abubakar struggled to knock on the


•NUJ, others condemns killing of reporter

From Osagie Otabor, Benin

doors of residents within the vicinity, who rushed him to the University of Benin Teaching Hospital (UBTH) where he died. The university spokesman, Harris Osarenren, said the university would release an official statement later. Commissioner of Police Olayinka Balogun confirmed the incident, adding that the police have launched an investigation into the killing. The Nigeria Union of Journalists (NUJ) in Edo State yesterday condemned

the killing of a reporter, Chukwudi Ogu, by yet to be identified gunmen. It calle d o n s e c u r i t y agencies to fish out the killers. State Chairman Friday Obanor spoke yesterday, when he led reporters to visit the widow, Joy Ogu. Obanor described the deceased as a quiet person. He said: “We know how your husband’s death has devastated you and caused you lots of pains. “We are consoled that the late Ogu lived a worthy life. He was a quiet, humble man who will be missed by all.”

The state Chairman of Association of Local Publishers of Nigeria, Ralph Okhiria, said it was barbaric and cowardice to cut short the life of a promising reporter. Okhiria urged security operatives to bring the culprits to book. The widow said they have not had any problem since they got married, adding that she was an unemployed graduate. Commissioner of Police Olayinka Balogun said they were still investigating the case but have established that the deceased was killed mistakenly. The late Ogu hailed from Inishi quarters in Ikeduru Local Government Area of Imo State. He was 36 and is survived by his wife and a two-year old son.

Magistrate’s Court jails man for rape

27-year-old man, Enobong Solomon, has been sentenced to 54 months imprisonment for defiling a woman in a farm. Solomon was sentenced by a Magistrate’s Court sitting in Benin and was charged on a two-count of rape and assault. He, however, pleaded not guilty. Police prosecutor Sgt Shaibu Mohammed told the court that the convict unlawfully had carnal knowledge of the victim at a farm behind the sport complex, off Godwin Abbe Way, Benin on

From Osagie Otabor, Benin

July 29, 2011 He told the court that the convict warned the victim never to report to her husband. Chief Magistrate Mike Osayi observed that the convict’s denial of his confessional statement to the police was an after thought. The court, however, gave the convict an option of N60,000 fine.

DO State Governor Adams Oshiomhole yesterday urged the electorate to investigate why he and the candidate of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), Maj-Gen Charles Airhiavbere, were detained at various times by the military. Oshiomhole said he was detained for allegedly causing public disturbances at a Magistrate Court and urged the people to ask PDP candidate why he (Airhiavbere) was detained and for what offences. The governor spoke at a rally in Benin City where scores of members of the PDP joined the ACN. He said the July 14 election was a time of reckoning. According to him, “we also know that Airhiavbere was detained. “You must ask the retired soldier what he did to be detained by the Army. He should tell us the details. We are coming to dance at the Oba Market. “We will show our report cards. I will tell the world where I was detained and he will say his own. He must tell the people of Edo why he was detained. “They said he has deep pockets. Was the deep pocket gotten from his salary at the army? “ Now we know why military pensioners never got their pensions. I have dealt with seasoned Generals and a cashier is trying to face me.” Oshiomhole blamed the military for the collapse of the Labour Transport Service.

MEND’s threats condemned From Isaac Ombe, Yenagoa


HE Action Congress of Nigeria (ACN) has condemned the spate of attacks on oil facilities by the Movement for the Emancipation of the Niger Delta (MEND). The party said such attacks could worsen the hitherto terrible environmental situation in the creeks. A statement by its state publicity Secretary, Christopher Abariowei, said: “A resurgence of militant activity on a government, whose security operatives are already overstretched by the Boko Haram insurgency, is a serious and contending security threat to the nation. “We call on the Federal Government to address the issue of unemployment and poverty in the country without delay. “We are calling on MEND to reconsider its threat as this will definitely increase the hardship of the already traumatised natives whose environment and means of livelihood have been devastated over the years.”



Daniel re-arraigned on 38 counts

Police warn against fake marriage proposals


•Gets N500m bail

Ernest Nwokolo, Abeokuta

By Jude Isiguzo

HE Lagos State Police Command has warned single ladies, who are desperately searching for husbands, to beware of fraudsters disguising as prospective suitors. The police said the aim of such suitors is to dupe them. The police warning followed the arrest, last month, of a man who allegedly went about town looking for rich single women to dupe through fake marriage proposals. The suspect, Chris Agonna, specialises in approaching desperate ladies in banks, oil companies and other big organisations, with fake marriage proposals. He allegedly married a woman, whose name was given as Chizoba Igwilo, in a sham wedding. The woman reportedly petitioned the police and the suspect was arrested by operatives of the Special AntiRobbery Squad (SARS) on the orders of the police commissioner. Igwilo accused Agonna of defrauding her of N3.7million after marrying her in a phony wedding. The petitioner, an official of a second generation bank, alleged that Agonna lured her into the fake marriage by claiming that he was an apprentice in a tile shop. “My family and I footed the bill of our purported marriage but I later discovered that the marriage certificate of the wedding we contracted at a registry was fake. I decided to investigate the authenticity of the marriage certificate when I started receiving threat calls from a lady who identified herself as Stella and an employee of another second generation bank. She alleged that my husband has been married to her for long and that I should desist from seeing him or having anything to do with him. I was shocked and when I confronted Chris, he became angry and violent.” She said further investigations revealed that Chris had defrauded other women bankers in Abuja and Port Harcourt through false marriages with them. She said: “After the confrontation, Chris started keeping late nights and when I asked why, he threatened to kill me with a machete if I continued to pester his life. He invited his younger siblings and they came to the house which I rented with my money and threw my things out. Chris also deceived me to part with N1.7 million, which he used to buy a house in his name. “I have discovered that Chris is a fraudster and I want my money back. I lost my pregnancy due to the stress and since the marriage is fake, I would like the police to assist me to recover my money and jewellery, which Chris, his brother and sister stole from me. As if this was not enough, Chris would not allow me into the house I paid for. Since December, I have been living in a hotel.” Agonna denied the allegations, saying they were aimed at destroying him. “I regret knowing Chizoba because since I met her, she has cost me nothing but pains. She was the one who packed her things and left the house. I told her I could not afford the house at Abule–Ado, as I was managing myself at Okokomiako. But she said it was too far from her work.




ORMER Ogun State Governor Gbenga Daniel was re-arraigned yesterday at the State High Court sitting in Abeokuta, the state capital. He was arraigned by the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) on a 38count criminal charge. He was, however, granted a N500million bail bond with two sureties. Justice Olanrewaju Mabekoje warned Daniel that the court will revoke the bail if he threatens the life of the witnesses. He said the same step would

be taken against him on the attempts to interfere with the smooth hearing of the case. The caution followed the fear of the EFCC that if Daniel was released on bail, he might scuttle the smooth hearing of the case and threaten the lives of the witnesses. The anti - graft agency cited the mysterious death, on March 17, of Apagun Oluwole Olumide, a man it called a “vital witness”. EFCC noted that the death has heightened fears among other witnesses, who might fear for their safety if the accused is granted bail. “...Prosecution (EFCC) is already short of one of its vital witnesses, in the person of Apagun S.O. Olumide, who died mysteriously on the very day he reported at the EFCC in company of his friend to apply for the release of his international passport to enable him travel to the United Kingdom on a business trip,” EFCC said

in an affidavit deposed to by Danladi Yatah, a police officer. Counsel to EFCC Mr Rotimi Jacobs told the court that the late Olumide “gave useful information” to the agency and that his manner of “death caused serious suspicion” that should not be “trivialised”. Jacobs said the court has of “protect the prosecution and the witnesses”, adding that it was the reason the EFCC opposed the bail application. Daniel is facing a 38-count charge of breach of trust, fraudulent conversion of public landed property to personal use, failure to declare his assets truthfully and allegedly stealing over N211million. The anti-graft agency yesterday hinted that it would prefer more charges against the former governor later. According to EFCC, the former governor allegedly stole the N211million in tranches when he was governor. Other allegations include

building his Conference Hotel in Ijebu-Ode and his Aserudero Court home in Sagamu on landed property designated as judges’ quarters. Daniel was also accused of allocating four hectares of Ogun State landed property in Agbara to his wife, Olunfunke, while using Olubunmi Opawole, her maiden name. The former governor pleaded not guilty to the charges. He was granted N500million bail bond with two sureties in like sum. The sureties, the court said, should be home and landed property owners in Ogun State. They are to submit to the court evidence of the property so owned with two passport photographs. The international passport belojnging to the accused, the court added, should remain in custody of the EFCC while he should be “remanded in prison custody pending the perfection of the bail conditions”. The matter has been adjourned till May 7 for hearing.

•Chief Babalola (middle) with the Zonal Director/Chairman, Federal Radio Safety Coommission (FRSC) Radio Nigeria, Ibadan PHOTO: FEMI ILESANMI. chapel, Pastor Zachaus Oloruntola (left) and Pastor Lere Afolabi ...yesterday

Afe Babalola cautions Jonathan on second term agenda


LEGAL luminary, Chief Afe Babalola (SAN), has urged President Goodluck Jonathan to honour his promise to run for Presidency for only one term as a mark of respect for his office. The eminent lawyer spoke yesterday in Ibadan, the Oyo State capital, after delivering a lecture, entitled: Philanthropy and Law: Any Crossing Line? at a programme organised by the Federal Radio Corporation of Nigeria (FRCN) Radio Nigeria, Ibadan. He urged the President not to renege on his promise to contest only for one term, although no written agreement

From Tayo Johnson, Ibadan

was made on the matter. According to him, the 1999 Constitution gives the President the right to contest for a second term in 2015, saying Dr Jonathan owes the nation a duty not to re-contest, to keep his promise. Babalola said: “I do not know any portion of the 1999 Constitution which says if a President has been sworn in twice he cannot contest for a second term. I believe, subject to correction, that the sitting President, earlier served the remaining period in the tenure of his former principal, the late President Umar Yar’Adua, before contest-

ing in 2011. “If he said he would serve for just one term while campaigning, he should keep his words, to retain his credibility. If he said he would serve for only one term, I think it would be honourable to respect his word. For me, my word is my bond. In the olden days, our parents got married without any written contract. An unwritten agreement is binding just as a written one. Even if an agreement is made without a seal, it should be honoured. Unfortunately in this country, we don’t honour our word. “We don’t have a Constitution in this country. I

have been calling for a Sovereign National Conference in this country. The present Constitution restricts everything to Abuja while the states are mere conduit pipes through which funds are being looted.” The educationist noted that philanthropy is a thing of the mind, saying it could be practised by those who care for those in need. He urged the privileged members of the society to imbibe the culture of giving to others, adding that the great religions of the world emphasise love and cheerful giving.

President’s Transformation Agenda on course, says PDP


HE Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) has said the Transformation Agenda of President Goodluck Jonathan is on course. The party said the President “has left no one in doubt of his political will as well as high content value of his transformation road map”. In a statement by its National Publicity Secretary, Chief Olisa Metuh, the PDP hailed Dr Jonathan’s recent declaration that merit, rather than favouritism, would henceforth determine appointments into federal positions. The party praised the President for threatening to sack some heads of government agencies and parastatals, who engaged in the inflation of this year’s budget. It described the move as an “unambiguous stride in the retrieval of our fiscal planning from the flawed and corrupt budgetary processes of the past”. Expressing satisfaction with the “impressive pace of the implementation” of the Transformation Agenda, the PDP noted that the faithfulness of the President to his campaign promises has stunned the opposition and thrown them into disarray.

From Gbade Ogunwale, Assistant Editor, Abuja

The statement reads: “The faithfulness of the President to his campaign promises has stunned and thrown the camp of the opposition into confusion and disarray; hence the current knee-jerk criticisms and taunts, which lack deep reflection. Hence, they are exposed as preposterous at the insistent knockings of verifiable facts. “Even though the transformation train has just left the station, the pace, tempo and result-delivery, notwithstanding well rehearsed distractions, have put the opposition to shame.” Other areas in which the party said the President has kept faith with Nigerians are the inauguration of the Almajiri model school in Sokoto last week; the Youth Enterprise with Innovation (YouWin), a job creation scheme; and signing of the 2012 budget. The party hailed the President’s courage in “frontally tackling national challenges without minding whose ox is gored” and called for the support of all Nigerians.

Amosun declares war on robbers

•Govt gets APCs By Olamilekan Andu

OGUN State Governor Ibikunle Amosun has given criminals a quit notice with an option for them to be good citizens. The governor said there would no longer be any hiding place for men of the underworld and trouble makers in the Gateway State. He spoke yesterday at the Governor’s Office in Abeokuta, the state capital, when he received five stateof-the-art Armoured Personnel Carriers (APCs). Amosun restated determination of his administration to curb the menace of bandits and ensure that Ogun becomes investors’ destination of choice. He said: “As you can observe, the recently held Ogun Investors’ Forum is already yielding positive results. There is need to consolidate on that by ensuring that all obstacles to investment in the state are dismantled. That is why we are taking security very seriously.” In a statement by his Senior Special Assistant on Media and Communications, Mrs Funmi Wakama, the governor said seven more APCs were being expected to further boost security. He said Ogun State was the first to order for the new model of the APCs because of the value his administration placed on security and the lives of security personnel. Amosun thanked President Goodluck Jonathan for assisting the state in getting the clearance papers for the APCs, adding that the equipment and 125 Hilux vans, fitted with modern communication facilities, would be launched on Friday by the Acting InspectorGeneral of Police Mohammed Abubakar.

‘Military junta has no chance in Guinea-Bissau’ From Augustine Ehikioya, Abuja THE Minister of Foreign Affairs, Ambassador Olugbenga Ashiru, yesterday urged the military junta in Guinea-Bissau to respect constitutional order or face the wrath of the Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS), African Union (AU) and the international community. He addressed reporters in Abuja against the backdrop of a recent similar military coup in Mali. With the pressures from ECOWAS members, including Nigeria, the Malian junta was brought down to its knees, leading to the restoration of constitutional order in the country. Ashiru said: “We are going to do exactly the same in Guinea-Bissau. The military has no chance to stay in power in Guinea-Bissau; we told them so. “They must leave power and have a transition that will lead to proper elections. We told them and we hope they will take that advice immediately. Otherwise, they know what will follow.”



NEWS NCAA urges judiciary to wade into legal challenges


By Kelvin Osa- Okunbor

IRECTOR-General of the Nigeria Civil Aviation Authority (NCAA) Harold Demuren yesterday called on judges of the Federal High Court to look into the legal challenges the authority is grappling with in its quest to sustain safety in the aviation sector . Speaking at a Two-Day Aviation Law Seminar for judges of the Federal High Court, Demuren said the volume of litigation involving the NCAA is raising concerns. According to Demuren, NCAA is not an aircraft operator or an airline and neither is it an airport operator, or an air traffic service provider and so should not be held liable for acts arising from the provision of services by aircraft operators and other aviation allied services providers. Demuren said: “As such a situation where NCAA is held liable for acts arising from the provision of services at the airports by aircraft operators and air traffic services and other aviation allied services providers is highly detrimental to safety of air transportation as it amounts to a major drain of limited resources which otherwise could be applied to safety in critical issues.” He lamented that without funds to run the agency, NCAA can no longer ensure the safe operation of aircraft operating in the airspace and to carry out daily mandatory surveillance and safety inspection of flights and the flight crew, and the monitoring of airport security. He called on the courts to resolve matters that affect NCAA and other aviation parastatals without necessarily resorting to garnishee orders, which have devastating effects on the operations and safety of the industry. Demuren said: “I am therefore very confident that during these two days of brainstorming, we will all acquire proper knowledge of the aviation industry, gain better understanding of legal issues and be better equipped to efficiently address any legal issues affecting the industry.” “This will no doubt enhance the development of aviation laws and thereby contribute in no small measure to the safety, security and economic advancement of the aviation industry in Nigeria.” Chief Justice of the Federal High Court Justice Ibrahim Auta said the seminar was apt and that the High Court has constituted a committee to review aviation laws and civil aviation laws.



HE Attorney-General of the Federation and Minister of Justice, Mohammed Adoke (SAN), yesterday said Nigeria is not a 419 (Advance Fee Fraud) nation as being insinuated. He also decried the increasing rate of Internet crimes in West Africa . Adoke made the clarification while addressing cyber crime experts from the Australian Federal Police (AFP) and West African countries at a Conference on Transnational Fraud, organised by the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) in collaboration with AFP. He said: “Cyber crimes, particularly advance fee fraud, have been largely responsible for the negative image Nigeria has attained in recent times.

From Yusuf Alli, Managing Editor, Northern Operation

“While we cannot deny the involvement of some Nigerians in these unwholesome practices, we vehemently reject the tendency on the part of nationals of some countries even within the ECOWAS sub-region to label Nigeria as a 419 nation. “I wish to reiterate that Nigerians do not condone the activities of a few criminals who have gained notoriety in the use of the Internet to perpetrate crimes. “It is for this reason that the Federal Government has put in place the requisite legal and institutional framework to deal with crimes of this nature. “ The minister said contrary to assumptions, Nigerian security agencies are doing

‘I wish to reiterate that Nigerians do not condone the activities of a few criminals who have gained notoriety in the use of the Internet to perpetrate crimes’ well in fighting cyber crimes. He added: “Our law enforcement agencies have recorded giant strides in the enforcement of these laws as evidenced by the increased arrest, prosecution and conviction of Internet fraud related offences recorded monthly. “These convictions are usually accompanied by recoveries of various sums of

money that are returned to victims of such crimes (local and foreign). “This has made Nigeria a leading country in the international fight against cyber crimes, including mass telemarketing fraud. “As you are aware, Nigeria and Australia are both members of the International Mass Marketing Fraud (IMMF). “This Conference could not have come at a more auspicious time, given the high prevalence rate of Internetbased crimes emanating from West Africa . “The need for strategic alliances and international cooperation cannot be overemphasised in the global war against economic and financial crimes. “I, therefore, commend the AFP and the EFCC for this laudable initiative.

Committee inaugurated

HE National Planning Commission (NPC) yesterday inaugurated its in-house Implementation Committee on Freedom of Information (FOI) Act . The inauguration was performed by the Secretary of the Commission, Ntufam Fidel Ugbo. A statement in Abuja by the NPC Spokesman, Salisu Badamasi Haiba, said the inauguration of the committee was in compliance with the requirement that each Ministries, Departments and Agencies (MDAs) should establish an in-house Implementation Committee to ensure proper implementation of the provisions of the FOI Act (2011) as was as-

From Gbenga Omokhunu, Abuja

sented to on May 28 last year by President Goodluck Jonathan. It reads: “Members of the NPC FoI Implementation Committee are as follows: Dr Anne Nzegwu (Chairperson), Isa G. Halidu (Member), Felix Okonkwo (Member), Yahaya Sa’idu (Member), Mrs Amina Ibrahim (Member), Salisu B. Haiba (Member), Kalu N. Kalu (Member) and Afam Nwanze Offor (Member).” Ugbo urged members of the committee to study the Act carefully and comply with its provision effectively and also urged them to discharge their responsibilities diligently.

‘We won’t witch-hunt anyone’


Nigeria not a 419 country, says Adoke

From Ogbonnaya Obinna, Abakaliki

HE Chairman, Presidential Visitation Panel to Akanu Ibiam Federal Polytechnic, Unwanna, Afikpo, Ebonyi State, Dr. Ahmed Tizzani Abdullahi Bayero, at the weekend, said the Federal Government set up the Panel not to witch hunt any Principal Officer or institution. Bayero said the Panel was designed to be a fact-finding one, which would look into several areas including, the leadership quality of the institution in terms of the roles of the Governing Council, the Head of Institution and other Principal officers and also investigate the application of funds. According to him; “our mission to Akanu Ibiam Federal Polytechnic, Unwanna is not to witch hunt any principal officers , neither are we here to make recommendation for the sack of anybody.” He called on the public, especially stakeholders to submit memoranda, which would enable the Panel carry out its assignment effectively and make good recommendation. The Rector, Prof. Francis Otunta, said: “We are very happy to welcome you to the institution. We want to pledge that we shall cooperate with you. The atmosphere will give you all the time to concentrate on your assignment. I want to assure you that we will work as a family” Other members of the Panel include, Henry Garba, F.O Ogoh, C.B. Adesina, Mohammed Abubakar, M.G. Mahuta, and Gabriel Amudipe.

•Anyim (right) ; Minister of Women Affairs and Social Development Hajiya Zainab Maina and Pate at the summit...yesterday

‘One million kids die due to rumours on vaccinations’


HE Federal Government yesterday decried the estimated one million annual deaths of children resulting from false rumours and religious beliefs against vaccination. The Secretary to the Government of the Federation (SGF), Anyim Pius Anyim, spoke at the first National Vaccine Summit in Abuja yesterday. He urged stakeholders to work to dispel such rumours and educate the people on the benefit of vaccination. Anyim said: “It is indeed inexcusable that despite the availability of simple costeffective health measures such as vaccines, we continue to lose an estimated one million Nigerian children each year to diseases that could have been prevented by vaccination. “To reverse this trend, it is essential that we all join hands: government at all levels, the private sector, NGOs, development partners, traditional and religious organisations to educate our people on the benefits of vaccination, dispel false rumours and beliefs, mobilise the necessary resources for vaccination and monitor the entire process of vaccination.” He attributed the frequent scarcity of vaccines in the country to increase in childbirths, which are always higher than projections

•Govt blames vaccine scarcity on increasing childbirths

From Augustine Ehikioya, Abuja

made for vaccines. Anyim said: “However, I am aware that with Nigeria’s expanding population and increase in births, it is inevitable that there would be gaps, both in terms of vaccine availability and the necessary logistics and materials that would guarantee every eligible Nigerian child access to vaccines as at when due. “As you deliberate today, to find common ground and evolve strategies that would assure universal access to vaccines by all Nigerian children, you must bear in mind the need to look inwards and find sustainable local solutions to our problems.” “We must also critically look at long-term opportunities to building our local


capacity to manufacture not just equipment and materials necessary for immunisation but also for the production of vaccines.” The Minister of State for Health, Ali Pate, said everything must be done to reverse the situation where one of seven children die before the age of five as the trend will make it difficult for Nigeria to achieve Vision 20:2020. He said the Federal Government allocated N6 billion for procurement of vaccines this year. According to him, the government is committed to expansion of life-saving vaccines for all Nigerian children with the revision of National Immunisation Policy in 2009 to accommodate new vaccines. To improve the survival of

children, he said the Federal Government is expanding Midwifery Service Scheme to cover 1,500 rural primary health centres with midwifes and community health workers. “Saving mothers will enhance the survival of children, so we are expanding the already successful midwifery service scheme to cover 1,500 rural primary health centers. “The Federal Government is planning to recruit thousands of village health workers in a temporary workfare scheme to support mothers during pregnancy and after delivery.” The Executive Director of the National Primary Health Care Development Agency ( N P H C D A ) , A d o Muhammad, said the overall objective of the summit is to mobilise the public and private sectors to commit themselves to the immunisation of women and children against preventable diseases.

Church holds prayer for Nigeria

NON-interdenominational outreach, Mantle Prayer Ministry, will hold a Special Prayer programe from April 18-21 at Ewu-oliwo, Oke-Isimi, Sagamu, Ogun State. The President of the Ministry, Pastor Isaac Olaomo, made this known yesterday in Lagos. He said the theme, “The Ancient of Days”,

By Adeola Ogunlade

is to mobilise Nigerians to pray and lift their families and the nation to God for divine intervention. Olaomo noted that the varying socio-economic challenges facing the nation can be solve through ceaseless prayers and good works exhibited by all Nigerians within their immediate community.




Ogun arrests fake tax collectors From Ernest Nwokolo, Abeokuta

THE Ogun State Government yesterday arrested a woman, Mrs Helen Taiwo, over alleged illegal collection of taxes and revenues from unsuspecting members of the public. The suspect, who reportedly used another name (Helen Obi) for her illegal “business”, was arrested at Ojodu-Abiodun by some vigilant individuals and handed over to the Divisional Police Headquarters in the area. The Senior Special Assistant to the Governor on Taxes, Mr Kunle Akinlade, who was in Eleweran, the Ogun State Police Command Headquarters to see the suspect and her accomplice, said illegal issuance of government’s tax receipts by fraudsters was taking its toll on the revenue of the state. Akinlade said the government would put in place measures to arrest the situation. Police spokesman Olumuyiwa Adejobi confirmed the incident. He said the police would investigate the source of the receipts the suspect was carrying. Adejobi added that this would help in identifying and flushing out producers of “fake receipts and documents”.

Boko Haram hasn’t come for dialogue, says Sambo


HE Federal Government said yesterday the Boko Haram sect has not come out for negotiation with the government. Speaking on the Hausa service of the Voice of America (VOA) monitored in Kaduna, Vice-President Mohammed Namadi Sambo said despite the plea by President Goodluck Jonathan, the sect has not come out for negotiation with the government or name the people to represent it in a dialogue. Sambo urged leaders of the sect to emulate Niger Delta militant groups by negotiating with the government.

From Tony Akowe, Kaduna

He said: “Till date, these people have refused to come out to talk. They couldn’t come out and talk with the government so that an agreement could be reached. “Even the President came out to say they should name the people they wanted so that there could be talks… Throughout the world, there is nothing you could do to resolve a crisis other than dialogue. “Whatever the crisis, either between soldiers and soldiers, or between countries, whatever years it would take, at the end, it has

to be resolved through talks and agreement to cease fire. Therefore, I would like to use this opportunity and appeal for a dialogue. “Some people have given names of so and so, but till now no one has come out for talks to find ways for lasting peace. May Almighty Allah bring an end to this because without peace, nothing will be possible.” The Vice-President said the President has not visited Yobe State, where several people have died, even after visiting Madalla, where fewer than 40 people died, because “the President can-

should endeavor to contribute towards ending to this crisis. “Just as the President has said, you cannot compare this with what happened in Niger Delta because all those who are leaders of the crisis in Niger Delta, everybody know them. Since when this thing was happening during the late President, they had leaders of the crisis, they had General this and General that, they all came out and said they were the people behind the crisis and people sat with them, discussed and agreed to have peace.”

Air Force chief evicted from home


ETIRED Air Commodore Danjuma Otaru has been forcibly evicted from his Adeyemo Alakija Street, Ikeja, GRA, Lagos

home. He was evicted alongside his family members by more than 30 armed Air Force personnel. The Air Force men came in three patrol vehicles and a towing vehicle. It was gathered that the men arrived at the premises of the retired officer about 3:30am and immediately began the eviction. No reason was given for the action, but sources in the neighbourhood said the property has been under litigation for a long time. “The property is under litigation for long. The retired officer and a politician have been fighting over the property but the officers used his office to hold onto the property until he retired two years ago”, the source said. As his personal belongings were being thrown out, the retired officer who could not believe his eyes, described the action as a disgrace and an embarrassment from the force he served for 35 years. An Air Force officer, Group Captain A O Akinyele said: “It is our men, it is our operation, I cannot say more than that for now. When the need arises, we will invite you”.

Amosun, others backs NOA’s new national prayer MORE stakeholders have endorsed the proposal by the National Orientation Agency (NOA) for the second stanza of the National Anthem to be adopted as the official prayer. NOA Director-General Mike Omeri made this known yesterday while recieving the Special Adviser to the President on Social Development and Special Duties, Mrs. Sarah Pane, in his office in abuja. Omeri said Mrs. Pane’s endorsement is the second important support he has gotten for the proposal. Ogun State Governor Ibikunle Amosun had earlier pledged to adopt the second stanza of the National Anthem as the national prayer to be used in schools and public functions. He urged the Federal Government to adopt the proposal to encourage the lower levels of government to do same. The DG said the intellect invested by the composers of the National Anthem need to be shared by all. He welcomed the request by the Special adviser to be part of the NOA planned programme on the Citizen Responsibility Volunteer scheme, which would soon be inaugurated by the Federal Government. Mrs. Pane sought the collaboration of the agency towards tackling youth delinquency in the country. According to her “the number of our youths on the streets is high. “In the past, people who did not have jobs had other ways of earning a living and supporting themselves, but today, our youths appear to have resigned to a fate of hopelessness.”

not be everywhere”. He added: “May the Almighty Allah make things easier for us. Concerning the issue of visit, you know this thing is happening in many places. It has happened in Maiduguri, it has happened in Yobe and in Adamawa State and in Bauchi, Kano. “The President cannot be everywhere. This thing is happening, but the most important thing for all of us is to continue praying to Almighty Allah to bring an end to this crisis. “Secondly, we Nigerians should cooperate. Everybody

•Otaru’s property after the eviction

Appeal Court fixes Friday for judgment in LP’s case against Senator Tinubu T HE Court of Appeal, Lagos Division will on Friday deliver judgment in the appeal filed by Labour Party (LP) against Senator Oluremi Tinubu. LP is challenging her election as senator representing Lagos Central Senatorial District on the platform of the Action Congress of Nigeria (ACN). The National Assembly/ Legislative House Election Petition Tribunal, Lagos had struck out LP’s petition. This followed the Supreme Court judgment that all election petitions must be concluded within 180 days.


By Joseph Jibueze

LP asked the appellate court to set-aside the ruling of the tribunal and order it to conclude hearing of its petition. Counsel to Senator Tinubu, Chief Wole Olanipekun (SAN) yesterday urged the Appeal Court to dismiss LP’s case. He said the appeal is challenging “the very essence of the legal profession.” Olanipekun claimed that the doctrine of stare decisis (obligation of courts to hon-

our past precedents) ‘’is the core of the legal profession and should be respected by all the court.” LP said by virtue of Section 246 of the Constitution, its petition was not statusbarred. This, it said, is because both the earlier ruling of the tribunal and the order of the Court of Appeal were within the 180 days. Besides, the party argued that the tribunal erred in law and totally misapplied the recent decision of the Su-

preme Court and thereby occasioned a grave miscarriage of Justice. The Party argued that it was wrong for the tribunal to use the Supreme Court’s decision as the platform for the burial of the right to appeal by aggrieved persons. The Chairman of the tribunal, Justice A A Nwaigwe held that the tribunal lacked jurisdiction to continue hearing of the petition going by the recent Supreme Court judgment that all election petitions should be concluded within 180 days. The tribunal had earlier fixed March 5 for judgment

ers, as well as courier companies has greatly assisted our intelligence, prevention and enforcement efforts. “Our achievement in advance fee fraud crimes enforcement would not have been possible without our current legal framework. “We have found some Nigerian judges who have adjudicated on some of our cases to be amongst the most courageous and knowledgeable in the world. Nigeria ‘s Advance Fee Fraud and other Fraud Related Offences Act (2006), Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (Establishment) Act (2004), the Evidence Act (2011), the Money Laundering (Prohibition) Act, 2011, are being used maximally and tested to their limit by our brilliant prosecutors daily. Lamorde explained why there is need for collaboration

by West African countries against transnational fraud. He added: “Our experience in Nigeria has clearly shown that vigorous enforcement in one jurisdiction almost always results in the dispersal of criminal minds and operations to contiguous jurisdictions. “The overall goal of this conference therefore, is to advance professional discussion on the common threat of transnational Internet fraud, which is currently impacting the West African regional Image and devastating victims around the world, including Australia . “I therefore urge all participants here present to take maximum advantage of this closed door interaction to share experiences, initiate personal contacts and explore bilateral strategic and tactical opportunities on this

•Mrs Tinubu

but had to hurriedly invite parties to appear in court for the judgment in view of the decision of the Apex Court.

EFCC seizes N250b fake financial instruments, says Lamorde

CONOMIC and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) chair Ibrahim Lamorde, yesterday said the commission seized fake financial instruments and cash worth over N250billion last year. He also urged West African nations to forge a common front to check internet fraudsters. Lamorde made this known at the opening of a Regional Engagement Meeting on Transnational Fraud for West African Law Enforcement Agencies, organised by the EFCC and Australian Federal Police. He said: “The Commission’s Advance Fee Fraud Section in Lagos , West African commercial hub, has been able to charge 536 related cases to High Courts between May 2003 and February this year. The Section has convict-

From Yusuf Alli, Abuja

ed 288 of the cases, extradited four fraud fugitives to the United States while 234 outstanding cases are still undergoing prosecution. “Counterfeit financial instruments, mostly foreign bank cashier cheques, money orders, travelers’ cheques and currencies being sent to foreign internet fraud victims are being intercepted. “In 2011 alone, fake financial instruments worth $23,261,108(N3, 628,732,848), £858,937(N207, 948,647), €1,195,218, 241(N247, 290, 654,062.9) blank cheques and counterfeit $952,100(N148, 527,600) in cash were seized in conjunction with the Nigerian Postal Services. “Our partnership with banks, money transfer companies, telecommunications and Internet service provid-

scourge. “Before I finish these remarks, let me challenge each and every one of us here, to think of practical ways of solving the law enforcement challenge on our hands right now. Let us go beyond communiqués; let us come up with real action plans for each country, tied to specific implementation timeframes. Institutional capacity building is the way forward. “If we ordinarily refuse, for reasons of, or in spite of circumstances of history to recognize our oneness, crimes, Internet fraud that targets victims globally will force us to collaborate. The theme of this meeting is therefore appropriately, Regional Cooperation against Internetbased Transnational Fraud.” He said technology has added new challenges to the fight against cyber crimes.




65-year-old man remanded for defiling fellow church members


65-YEAR-OLD man, Taye Michael, was yesterday remanded by an Ilorin Magistrate’s Court for allegedly defiling two fellow church members. The prosecuting officer, Sergeant Alhassan Jubril, told the court that the accused, a member of Wakati Iyanu Church, Obo Road, Ilorin, told the two women that he was a Kwara State Government health worker. Michael was alleged to have separately invited them to his home, pretending to have a job for them. According to the prosecutor, the accused confessed defiling the two women. But he pleaded not guilty to the charges. Jubril objected to his bail on the ground that the accused was a habitual rapist

•Retiree docked for defiling teenager From Samson Ademola, Ilorin

that had a similar case before the magistrate. He said the court should remand him in prison custody. Counsel to the accused Mr. Tunji Ahmed pleaded with the court to release Michael on bail “to enable me speak with him.” Magistrate Ibijoke Olawoyin averred that the charge was not bailable and remanded the accused in the Federal Prison, Oke-Kura, Ilorin. She adjourned the case till April 25. A 64-year-old retired broadcaster, Steven Sajewo, yesterday appeared before

an Ilorin Chief Magistrate’s Court for allegedly raping a 16-year-old girl. He was arraigned before Chief Magistrate Lekan Adegbite on a one-count charge of rape, which contravened Section 283 of the Penal Code. The accused was alleged to have had carnal knowledge of the victim, who was said to have hawked yam to the accused person’s home at Oja Iya area of Ilorin. According to the charge sheet, it was the shout of the victim that attracted neighbours, who alerted the police. The plea of the accused was not taken due to the nature of the offence, which the magistrate’s court lacked ju-

risdiction to entertain. Police Prosecutor Inspector Moshood Adebayo objected to the bail of the accused on the ground that the offence was not bailable. He asked for another day for mention, noting that discreet investigation was still in progress. The accused person was not represented by any counsel. The victim’s father had shown interest in withdrawing the case, but the court asked him to bring a letter to that effect on the day of adjournment. Magistrate Adegbite admitted the accused to bail in the sum of N200, 000 with one surety in like sum. He adjourned till May 3 for further mention of the case.

PDP chief warns Fed Govt not to dialogue with Boko Haram


CHIEFTAIN of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) in Oyo State, Senator Lekan Balogun, has warned the Federal Government against initiating a dialogue with the Boko Haram sect. Balogun, who spoke in Ibadan yesterday, described members of the sect as criminals, saying it is wrong to dialogue with criminals. “Why should they dialogue with criminals? If that is the case, let’s dialogue with robbers and persuade them not to rob anymore. That’s giving them licence to commit more atrocities, it doesn’t make sense. It won’t make ordinary person in the country

Ogun approves first monarch for Kemta

From Bisi Oladele, Ibadan

to respect the laws of the land. To dialogue with them is to make them important. You are elevating them to the level they don’t deserve by talking of dialoguing with them. Honestly, I won’t dialogue with them,” he said. Balogun, a Second Republic senator, urged the government to set up a committee on the sect with a view to carrying out a research on the group and finding a solution to the pains it inflicts on the nation. The politician said it was a misnomer to describe members of the group as Islamic fundamentalists. He de-



ODETUNDE I, formerly known an addressed as Miss Odetunde Omolola Funke Temitayo now wish to be known and addressed as Mrs Adeleke Omolola Funke. All former documents remains valid. General public should please take note.

I, formerly known and addressed as MISS WILLIAMSON ABIMBOLA, now wish to be known and addressed as MRS. KEHINDE ABIMBOLA. All former documents remain valid. General public should take note.


scribed them as people suffering from psychiatric problem, adding that they should be referred to a psychiatric expert for examination. He said: “I call for the setting up of a committee of able, capable intellectuals who can define these things and collect data to show what they are and then proffer solution on how to curb them.

“For now, we don’t know what they are. I think there should be a committee to study the thing and make prescriptions, to make suggestions, recommendations. People who have the intellect and security consciousness to address the issues. I don’t call them Islamic fundamentalists, I call them psychiatric fundamentalists. “

NECO crisis deepens



HE Ogun State Ministry of Local Government and Chieftaincy Affairs has approved the conferment of coronet on Oluga (Kemta) in Odeda Local Government. According to a letter signed by the Permanent Secretary in the ministry, Engr. O.O. Ogunsolu, Chief Wahab Aremu Aileru has become the Olu of Oluga (Kemta).

Lawyers protest parking fee in Abuja



Editor’s mum for burial THE remains of Madam Abimbola Amokeodo will be interred on May 12 in Ilesa, Osun State, according to a statement by her son Mr. Tony Amokeodo, the Group News Editor of Leadership newspaper.

From Kamarudeen Ogundele, Abuja

EMBERS of the Nigeria Bar Association (NBA), Abuja branch, yesterday protested the parking fee being collected by the Federal Capital Territory Administration (FCTA). The lawyers, who protested in front of the Corporate Affairs Commission (CAC) office in Abuja, near the FCT High Court, Maitama, decried what they termed as ‘double taxation’. They urged the FCT minister, Senator Bala Mohammed, to stop the collection of the parking fee. Chairman of the NBA Afam Osigwe who spoke with reporters, said there should be an act of the National Assembly to legalise the parking fee being collected. “This place is not a commercial place and we are saying that parking fee should not be paid by lawyers. Where we do our business does not have enough parking space.”

Christians, Muslims reconcile HRISTIAN and Musin Kwara

From Jide Orintunsin, Minna

HE crisis rocking the National Examinations Council (NECO), Minna, Niger State, deteriorated yesterday as a group of workers, under the aegis of the “Concerned NECO Staff “, staged a solidarity rally in support of the Registrar of the council, Professor Promise Okpala. But the Chairman of the NECO chapter of the Non-Academic Staff Union of Educational and Associated Institutions (NASU), Comrade Abdulrasheed Rabana, said those who organised the protest were free to exercise their fundamental human right. He alleged that the rally was a panicky step by the registrar to cover up some of his corrupt practices and illegal activities. The workers supporting the registrar, led by the Deputy Director (Examination and Administration), Dr. Chukwuka Ofodile, gathered at the council auditorium by 8am and moved to the office of the registrar, carrying placards that listed his achievements. The cold war between the registrar and the leadership of the NASU began last Thursday when the union accused him of overstaying in office. The Federal Government has approved his second term of three years. Ofodile said his group supported the registrar because of the successes the council has achieved in the last five years, adding that Okpala has been able to administer the council efficiently. He cited unionisation of the workforce, a feat that was unattainable before the tenure of Okpala, adding: “But it is lamentable that some disgruntled elements masquerading as labour activists are out to tarnish the image of the council.” The group praised the Federal Government for reappointing the registrar for another three years, stressing that his reappointment “is well earned, based on his achievements in NECO in the past five years.” Some of the placards read: “Think integrity think Okpala;” “Okpala for second tenure;” “No to bad unionism in NECO;” “NECO is not a banana republic;” “On Okpala we stand.”

The 91-year-old oba-elect said Kemta consists of 11 towns and 17 villages, adding that he would enter ipebi (traditional confinement) from tomorrow and would be crowned the first Olu of Oluga (Kemta) on May 19 by the Alake of Egbaland, Oba Adedotun Gbadebo. He said: “Kemta is one of the five divisions in Egbaland involved in the coronation of the Alake of Egbaland. It is made up of towns such as Oluga, Akogun, Erunwon, Oloruntedo, Sodimu, Gata, Opele, among others. “I thank God that Kemta is getting a monarch in my lifetime. We have been agitating for this since 15 years ago. May 19 is going to be a red-letter day in this community. My coronation will be a landmark event.”


lim leaders in Kwara State have agreed to live in peace and resolve misunderstand through dialogue. The Chairman of the Kwara State Inter-Religious Committee, Alhaji Mohammed Shaaba Koro, said this at a meeting with the government officials in Ilorin. The meeting, which was chaired by the Secretary to State Government (SSG), Alhaji Isiaka Gold, was convened by the government following a petition by the Christian Association of Nigeria (CAN), Kwara State chapter, to Governor

AbdulFatah Ahmed over alleged destruction of the property of the Living Faith Church (popularly called Winners Chapel), Sango, Ilorin, by unidentified youths. Alhaji Koro said Christians and Muslims would continue to live in peace and harmony as Christianity and Islam advocate peaceful coexistence. He urged parties to the dispute over the building of a church to maintain the peace as petitions on the issue have been referred to a committee set up by the government.

Suswam signs 2012 budget


From Uja Emmanuel, Makurdi

ENUE State Governor Gabriel Suswam has signed the 2012 budget into law with a warning to commissioners and permanent secretaries that no fund request would be entertained without budget provision. He said doing so would amount to extra-budgetary spending and advised commissioners requesting for fund to back it up with the provision in the budget proposal. The governor signed a budget of N112.9 billion as presented to him by the Speaker of the House of Assembly, David Iorhemba, in the Government House, Makurdi. Iorhemba said members of the assembly perused the budget and invited ministries and parastatals who defended their estimates before its final passage.

Funeral for woman

MADAM Emilia Tinuola Aiyesa who died on January 8 at the age of 97 will be buried on Friday in her home, J/13, Ayowe Street, Okeagbe-Akoko in Akoko NorthWest Local Government of Ondo State. The deceased will lie-in-state in her home on Thursday from 4 pm. Service of songs holds between 6 pm and 7 pm at the same venue. Funeral service holds at St. George’s Anglican Church, OkeagbeAkoko on Friday, while interment follows immediately. •The late Mrs Aiyesa

Supreme Court registrar loses dad THE death has been announced of Pa Andrew, father of the Supreme Court Chief Registrar, Mr. Sunday Olorundahunsi. Aged 85, he died in the early hours of Sunday. Burial arrangements will be announced by the family.



NEWS 69 oil marketers to refund N241.247b petrol subsidy Continued from page 6

to the computed arrears due NNPC for HHK discharges. This was established from NNPC’s submission to be N284.580billion. “This payment of subsidy arrears on HHK was an illegality, having been proscribed by a presidential directive in 2009. NNPC was stopped from further collecting subsidy on HHK. The corporation abided by the presidential directive but unilaterally reversed the situation without any counter directive or order from the President.” Following the leakage of the report, some stakeholders in the oil industry met last night in Abuja ahead of its presentation today. After the session in a posh hotel, one of the stakeholders,

who spoke in confidence, said: “For Nigerians to know the truth about fuel subsidy, we are demanding that the House should extend the probe to subsidy payment since 1999 or pre-1999 era. “That is the only condition the report can be acceptable or credible. They cannot make those who imported fuel from 2009 to 2011 scapegoats. We want fairness for all. “Nigeria can only clean its oil industry, if there is a comprehensive inquiry into the subsidy management since 1999 or before 1999.” The Coordinator of the Southsouth Youth Caucus, David Osaro, in a statement last night, said: “The North wants to use the House of Representatives probe to bring down Jonathan’s government. “It has become very clear

that the current House of Representatives probe of the petroleum industry and the deregulation of the downstream sector is nothing but a subtle plot by the North to discredit and ultimately bring down the Jonathan administration. “It is very evident that in order to achieve their aim, the North quickly cashed in on the fuel subsidy removal issue, and due to its sensitivity, everything was put in place to actualise their plans of truncating this administration. Otherwise, how else do you explain the fact that a probe into the activities of the oil industry should have predated the current administration of Dr. Goodluck Jonathan? “Even more curious is the fact that similar probes in the past have not yielded anything that the ordinary

Nigerian can be proud of, both in terms of findings and implementation of probe reports. Ordinarily, it would have been taken for granted that the House of Representatives panel may find nothing actually incriminating against the current government of Mr. President but the manner in which the House is going about it truly leaves much to be desired, in terms of its sincerity. “If tradition is also anything to go by, it may be pertinent to state that the North is trying to use the House of Representatives to achieve its plan of shifting the power equation back to the North. If this were not the case, how then do you rationalise the failure of the House to actually extend the probe to also include the oil industry from 2009 till date?”

N26b Police pension cash in five banks Continued from page 6

He said the bank was directed on June 30, 2011 to close the account and transfer the money to a new account. The balance in the account is N1.1 billion. Executive Director of First Bank, Kehinde Lawanson, said the bank was asked to reconcile 14 accounts. Lawanson said FirstBank found out that five accounts were duplicated. He added that essentially “we are dealing with nine accounts”. On whether the bank assigned one account number to four individuals, Lawanson noted that “it is extremely improbable to give one account number to more than one person”. On some deposits which the committee described as “unusual lodgments” total-

ling about N44.9 million, Lawanson said if it discovered any form of unusual lodgment of funds, the bank has a procedure to report to the appropriate authorities as specified in the AntiMoney Laundering Act. He said his bank reported unusual lodgments whenever applicable. He explained that in the case of Electronic Fund Transfer, once the account number and code are correct, it becomes automatic credit. Fidelity Bank Executive Director I. K. Mbagwu told the committee that the bank received a request from the Police Reform Task Team to open an account on August 9, 2011 and N6 billion was lodged. Mbagwu who said the money is still with the bank. The banker described the

account as a “memorandum account”, saying it existed as a “memorandum account” until the authorisation to open the account came from the Accountant General’s office. He said the account became active only when the Accountant General’s office authorised its opening on August 17, 2011. Mbagwu said N2billion was paid into the account on August 17, leaving a balance of N8 billion. On the claim by the Pension Reform Task Team that it recovered N31 billion, he noted that N31 billion could not have been recovered since the money was in the Police Pension account. Former Head of Service Prof. Afolabi Oladapo also said it was a false claim for the Pension Task Team to

have said that it recovered six million pounds. He said: “It was a false claim to say that six million pounds was recovered. Nothing was recovered because nothing was lost in the first place.” He said the six million pounds was an investment account domiciled in the United Kingdom. On the security of the Pension Reform Task Team leader, Maina, Ishola said they were told that Maina made himself inaccessible to pensioners by the surrounding himself with over 42 security agents drawn from the riot police, State Security Service (SSS), the Customs and Prisons Service. Ishola said they were also told that Maina spends over N9 million monthly on security.

Panel: scrap EFCC, ICPC, FRSC, others

•EFCC chief Ibrahim Lamorde Continued from page 6

“Mr. President, the point that must be reiterated is the fact that an institution is inefficient and ineffective should not be a basis for the creation of new ones. The officers and men of the Nigeria Police Force have been reputed for performing exceptionally and winning laurels while on international peacekeeping and other missions. This implies that the problems of our Police are not incurable.” Also, the Oronsaye Committee noted that there was no basis for setting up the FRSC, which duplicates the functions of the Department of the Highways of the Federal Ministry of Works on one hand and the Nigeria Police functions of maintaining laws and order on the roads on the other hand. “One case that stands out clearly in this regard is that of the Federal Road Safety Commission (FRSC), which should not be in existence in its present form. What the FRSC was set up to do is a replication of the mandates of two existing bodies namely: the Highway Department of the Federal Ministry of Works with respect to the maintenance of safety and orderliness on our highways

and the role of the Nigeria Police Force in ensuring law and order on our roads. “Indeed, it is a fundamental breach of acceptable practice of good public sector governance to create a new agency or institution as a response to the seeming failure or poor performance of an existing agency in order to suit political or individual interests. “Such a practice has proved eventually to precipitate systemic conflicts, crises and even collapse at a substantial but avoidably high financial cost to government”. Other agencies cited doing overlapping functions are the Nigerian Communication Satellite Limited, National Broadcasting Commission (NBC) and the Nigeria C o m m u n i c a t i o n s Commission (NCC) in the area of frequency allocation.

Jonathan inaugurates Total USAN vessel today From John Ofikhenua, Abuja

PRESIDENT Goodluck Jonathan will today inaugurate the Total two million barrel capacity Floating Production, Storage and Offloading (FPSO) USAN vessel in Port Harcourt, the Rivers State capital. The FPSO is connected to the USAN deepwater offshore oil field located in Oil Production Licence (OPL) 222, now Oil Mining License (OML 138), located about 100 kilometres off the coast, Southeast of Port Harcourt in water depths ranging from 70 metres to 850 metres.



FOREIGN NEWS US choice is new World Bank chief


NITED States nominee Jim Yong Kim has been chosen as the new President of the World Bank. The Korean-American health expert is the President of Dartmouth University. He faced a strong challenge for the post, which has traditionally gone to an American, from Nigerian Finance Minister Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala. Dr Kim will succeed Robert Zoellick, serving a fiveyear term beginning on July 1, the World Bank said in a statement. Aged 52, Jim Jong Kim is a doctor lauded for his pioneering role in treating HIV/ AIDS and reducing the impact of tuberculosis in the developing world.

US Treasury Secretary Timothy Geithner said the new president’s background would be valuable in the role. “His deep development background coupled with his dedication to forging consensus will help breathe new life into the World Bank’s efforts to secure fast economic growth that is widely shared,” Mr Geithner said in a statement. The bank hailed the selection process as competitive, saying the challenge posed by Mrs Okonjo-Iweala, as well as by Colombian candidate Jose Antonio Ocampi, would benefit the institution in the long-run. The three candidacies “enriched the discussion of the role of the president and of

the World Bank Group’s future direction” the World Bank said. By convention, the US has always held the top job at the World Bank since it was founded in 1944. The top job of its sister organisation, the International Monetary Fund, has also always gone to a European but there has been much pressure from emerging economies to open the processes of both organisations to competition. This year’s vote was the first time the World Bank had to choose between candidates since its creation more than 60 years ago. Dr Kim will oversee a staff of 9,000 economists and development experts, and a loan

ECOWAS mediators to intervene in Guinea-Bissau


EST African regional mediators headed to Guinea-Bissau for talks yesterday after the military coup leaders who seized power last week said they were forming a transitional government without the country’s ruling party. Kadre Desire Ouedraogo, the president of the ECOWAS commission, was to lead the delegation meeting with junta leaders in Bissau. The military officers who seized power of the tiny former Portuguese colony last week said Sunday they were forming a National Transitional Council along with various opposition parties. Prime Minister Carlos Gomes Jr., who was the frontrunner in this month’s presidential runoff vote, was arrested after his home came under attack from grenades. Interim president Raimundo Pereira was also detained by the military. A Portuguese government official, speaking on condition of anonymity because he was not authorised to speak to reporters, said Portugal had received information that both men were doing well. The prime minister need-

•Junta leaders in power pact ed insulin and the Portuguese embassy organised for the Red Cross to get it to him on Saturday, the official said. Gomes’ opponent Kumba Yala, a former president who was overthrown in a 2003 coup, had planned to boycott this month’s vote because of irregularities in the first round of balloting. The special election was being held after the country’s elected president died from an illness at a Paris hospital in January. Guinea-Bissau has weathered successive coups, attempted coups and a civil war since winning independence from Portugal in 1974. The country has been further destabilized by a booming drug trade. Cocaine is smuggled across the Atlantic Ocean from South America in boats and planes which dock on Guinea-Bissau’s archipelago of virgin islands. The drugs are carried north to Europe. The unrest in Guinea-Bissau takes place just weeks after mutinous soldiers overthrew the democratically elected president of Mali,

UN observers begin work in Syria as fighting continues


HE first observers from the United Nations are starting work in Syria, where they are monitoring a fragile ceasefire. A UN spokesman said the six-strong advance party would make contact with the Syrian government and opposition, before beginning fieldwork. More observers are expected to arrive yesterday. Numbers will build up to about 30 by the end of the week. Violence has continued despite the truce, with about 25 people reportedly dying on Sunday, many of them in Homs. Activists said security forces had stepped up their shell-

ing of opposition strongholds in the central city. In the city of Hama, in central Syria, two people were killed by security forces yesterday, opposition activists said. The claims have not been independently verified. Under the six-point peace plan put forward by UN-Arab League envoy Kofi Annan, the government in Damascus should have withdrawn its forces and heavy weaponry from cities on 10 April. UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon expressed concern, saying the world was “watching with sceptical eyes” to see whether the ceasefire - which came into effect last Thursday - was sustainable.

Zimbabwe bus crash kills 21


WENTY-one people were killed yesterday when a speeding bus overturned in southern Zimbabwe, state radio reported. The bus had been travelling towards Beitbridge, a town on the border with South Africa, when the accident happened around 2:00 am. The radio quoted witnesses as saying that the driver, who died at the scene of the crash, had been speeding and failed to negotiate a curve. Accidents are common in Zimbabwe because of roads which have been neglected for years and are riddled with crater-like potholes.

who was about to retire after an April election. The country’s junta leader handed over power to an interim civilian president last week.

Anders Breivik pleads not guilty at Norway murder trial


•Dr Kim

portfolio that hit $258 billion (£163 billion) last year. “There’s just no comparison between him and any of the prior World Bank presidents,” said Mark Weisbrot of the Centre for Economic and Policy Research in Washington, after Dr Kim was chosen president. “The others were political insiders; they spent most of their lives getting rich or becoming politically powerful, or worse. Kim, by contrast, has spent most of his life trying to improve the lives of poor people.”

HE man who carried out bomb and gun attacks in Norway last year which left 77 people dead has pleaded not guilty at the start of his trial in Oslo. Anders Behring Breivik attacked a youth camp organised by the governing Labour Party on the island of Utoeya, after setting off a car bomb in the capital. He told the court he “acknowledged” the acts committed, but said he did not accept criminal responsibility. The prosecution earlier gave a detailed account of how each person was killed. If the court decides he is criminally insane, he will be committed to psychiatric care; if he is judged to be mentally stable, he will be jailed. In the latter case, he faces a sentence of 21 years, which could be extended to keep him behind bars for the rest of his life. The 33-year-old Norwegian was found insane in one examination, while a second

assessment made public last week found him mentally competent. The prosecution presented details of the attacks on Utoeya island, which included a harrowing emergency telephone call from one of the youths there. More than 50 gunshots and screaming could be heard in the background. Breivik remained seemingly unmoved throughout. Yet earlier he broke down in tears as the prosecution screened his own propaganda video, which he posted online shortly before his attacks. A report from Norwegian TV2 said that by reading his lips he appeared to tell one of his defence team that “it was an emotional video”. Breivik also showed emotion as the prosecution showed illustrations and video from the car bomb attack in Oslo city centre. While victims and their families cried as the blast could be seen, Breivik smiled on several occasions.


VOL. 7


WHO SAID WHAT ‘I wish to reiterate that Nigerians do not condone the activities of a few criminals who have gained notoriety in the use of the Internet to perpetrate crimes. It is for this reason that the Federal Government has put in place the requisite legal and institutional framework to deal with crimes of this nature. MOHAMMED ADOKE



IRSTLADYISM entered Nigeria during the tenure of military president General Ibrahim Babangida. If it was not entirely benign at its incarnation, it at least had the merit of humanising the starchy face of the military. Beneath the stern visage and stentorian voice of the men of war lies a caring husband and lover rolled into one and a parent to boot, the first ladies seemed eager to make the public aware. It also had the merit of bringing glamour to the drab political landscape. Trophy wives of military governors, with the trophy wives of senior military officers in tow, all made up as if for a fashion parade, under the command of the military president’s own trophy wife, never missed a chance to show off their access to the better life, even when humouring rural women into believing that it was all for their benefit. National television, which they shoehorned into an adjunct, like the national treasury, dutifully relayed to every home and in living colour everything these Better Lifers cared to say or do. It was not all glamour, however. Some had been known to dress down a minister or commissioner who was loath to anticipate and carry out their bidding. The minister or commissioner temerarious enough to countermand a first lady’s wish knew for sure that the game was over. If you were seeking a position in an establishment on which the government has an interest or looking for promotion to the higher ranks of the civil service or bidding for a lucrative contract, a word from Her Excellency was sure to redound to your credit, assuming she had not cornered it for herself. In time, the first lady was no longer just the wife of the president or state governor, she became a political actor in her own right, occupant of the Office of the First Lay, with all the rights and privileges – there were no duties — she could write into the position by force of personality or sheer brassiness. By the time Babangida was swept out of power by “June 12,” first ladyism had become a byword for power without responsibility, flippancy, and excess. While her husband hovered on the fringes, the sedate Mariam Abacha showed little interest in all that was being done in the name of firstladyism. She was no first lady then, but as wife of the Chief of Army Staff and later chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, she ranked very high in the pecking order and could have carved out her own fiefdom. Like the Khalifa himself, however, she had her eyes on the main chance and was prepared to wait. When it came, she seized it with a vengeance. Not for her the tinselled glamour of those who came before her, nor the pseudo-events they contrived to appear on national television. She was going to be Mother of the Nation, no less. In that guise, she took over the Expanded





Annals of Firstladyism

•Mrs. Jonathan

Programme on Immunisation (EPI) and the Oral Rehydration Therapy (ORT), child health projects that the Babangida Administration could justly claim among its few beneficent accomplishments. An epidemiologist with the Ford Foundation in Lagos told me at the time that donor agencies were aghast that Mrs Abacha would bring the EPI under her control. Executing the EPI was like running a military campaign, the medical expert told me. There was virtually no room for lapses. The choreography had to be perfect, from procuring to administering the vaccines. As far as she could determine, she said, Mrs Abacha lacked the expertise to prosecute such a project.

Mrs Abacha took it over, all the same. The scheme foundered, with disastrous consequences for child health. General Absulsalam Abubakar’s wife, Fati, a high court judge, felt obliged to set up her own pet project Women‘s Right Advancement Protection Agency (WRAPA), despite the fact that her husband would be little more than a caretaker head of state. If the project ever got off the ground, her husband’s brief tenure more or less ended it. President Olusegun Obasanjo came into office vowing that if the First Lady wanted to sponsor any project, she would have to raise the funds for it. Corporate Nigeria rallied to her cause just as it had rallied to her husband’s, and her Child Care project was gathering scheme when she died. Nothing has been heard of it subsequently. Few believed that the demure Hajiya Turai Yar’Adua would willingly enter the treacherous waters of firstladyism, more so since, back in Katsina, she had shown no such propensity. After marrying off her daughters to governors, she launched a project to establish a world-class cancer diagnostic and treatment centre in Nigeria and raised a staggering N10 billion for the project. By way of preparation, she toured cancer facilities in the United States, with the Minister of Health as her chaperone. She later got mired in a Byzantine scheme to keep her terminally ill husband in office while she exercised power through proxies. Her scheming kept the nation on edge until her husband died. Since then, little has been heard about the cancer centre. Dame Patience Jonathan left no one in any



HO would have thought that in our lifetime, we would be shown an easy way to plot and carry out secession? We have the Department of State Security (SSS) and the federal government to thank for this discovery. It took the late Dim Chukwuemeka Odumegwu about three years to organise a secessionist movement, but in spite of all the money, population, and support from a few countries, the effort collapsed in a heap after millions were slaughtered. Now, according to the secret service and the federal government, which seemed to have allowed the leakage of the report, Osun State government has taken steps and planned policies all designed to pull the landlocked and basically agrarian state out of Nigeria. If secession were this easy and so practicable without resources – crude oil or industrial – even Hardball would have tried his luck. Well, now, thanks to the secret service, we have a manual for Secession Made Simple. Osun State is the first case study. The requirements are neither complicated nor expensive, nor yet covert. First step is for the state to rename itself, sort of, from the usual Osun State to State of Osun. Of course the constitution did not say Osun State or State of Osun, but since the state was known as Osun State, and was changed by the governor, Ogbeni Rauf Aregbesola, to State of Osun, this must be for the sole purpose of secession. Second step is to create an anthem for the state, not necessarily to replace the national anthem, but to complement it. Even as a complement, it would still amount to a dangerous step in

Secession Made Simple the direction of secession, according to the secret service manual. Third step is to design a flag. In many other democracies, states of course have flags in order to differentiate one another in a federal set up. But in Nigeria, according to the manual, this is another fateful step towards secession. The final step is naturally coat of arms. According to Secession Made Simple, since Nigeria as a country has a coat of arms, no state should. And if a state did, it must have secession on its mind. Even Aristotle would chuckle. The manual did not tell the wary and distressed Nigerian public why Osun, a Yoruba State, would want to secede from Nigeria without the cooperation of its fellow and contiguous Yoruba states. Even the short-lived Biafra Republic proclaimed by Ojukwu in 1967 embraced contiguous Igbo states. The manual was also silent on why less than two years into his tenure, Aregbesola would take an inchoate state economy, which still largely depends on revenue allocated from the centre, out of the federation. Nor did the secret service manual on secession tell us why a state that has no weapons and no arms industry, and is smack in the middle of nowhere, can hope to pull off such a mighty stunt as secession. The Nigerian secret service was in the proc-

doubt that this was her chance and that she was firmly determined to enjoy it to the fullest. After her public scolding of Rivers Sate Governor Rotimi Amaechi during a visit Okrika, elected and unelected officials alike have learned not to cross her her path. Almost a year later, everyone is still talking about one of her early outings – a national workshop on etiquette, at which she figured as convener and chief resource person, in the rarefied and opulent ambience of the Obudu Retreat Lately, she has embarked on official visits to the states, ostensibly to thank the women for electing her husband president. In the Oyo State capital Ibadan, where her husband had declared during his campaign that the Southwest would have to be wrested from the control of “rascals,” they even got school children to line her route and serenade her as if she was visiting royalty from the days of Empire. By some accounts, she took it in as her proper due. Last week, she brought Lagos to a standstill with a visit for the same improbable reason: to thank the people for electing her husband – the very people the self-same husband had dismissed as “miscreants,” for having the temerity to protest against a savage tax on gasoline his administration had imposed under the pretext of ending a phantom subsidy. Those governors are deluded who believe that the best way to get special favours from President Goodluck Jonathan is to fawn on his wife. When they conscript school children into the enterprise they are engaging in child abuse. Why doesn’t Mrs Jonathan simply make a national radio and television broadcast in the language in which she is most fluent, with simultaneous translation into other languages widely spoken in Nigeria? That would be far cheaper and less disruptive than the official visits she has been staging lately. In retrospect, it must be accounted a boon for Nigeria’s anaemic treasury that her husband was not elected chair of the Africa Union at its last summit. For it is not inconceivable that she would have embarked on official visits to all the other 53 member-states to thank the heads of state, and through them their people, for electing her husband to the position. •For comments, send SMS to 08057634061

•Hardball is not the opinion of the columnist featured above ess of being transformed, and was well on its way to becoming one of the pre-eminent intelligence agencies in Africa. Its operatives were becoming sophisticated and enlightened, having put behind them the notoriety and incompetence of its predecessors. Suddenly, they have now come up with a report that is extremely difficult to ascribe to an agency beginning to garner huge respect from the public. Worse is how to fathom the intention of the federal government. Is it so meddlesome that in spite of Boko Haram in the North, MEND in the South-South, MASSOB in the Southeast and other security threats in other parts of Nigeria that it hopes to open another front in the Southwest? Was it goaded into that needless action by the ruling party from which the president has proved unable to detach itself? Or was it thinking malevolently and calculatingly with 2015 in view? The security report on Osun could not have been leaked if it had not made a significant impression on the presidency. Could the president not for once leave bad enough alone? It denigrates the reputations of both the secret service and the federal government to make the excessively ridiculous suggestion that a landlocked and, for now, poor state was preparing for secession from among its Yoruba neighbours and the federation. The government should look for other saner and sensible excuses to destabilise Osun rather than scare the public with tall tales of terrorist connections and subject the entire country to ridicule in the estimation of the world.

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The Nation April 17, 2012  
The Nation April 17, 2012  

The Nation April 17, 2012